The Alola Foundation together with the Moris Rasik Foundation organized one day training for 27 female Entrepreneurs focusing on business skills and finance management, loan discipline and especial loan training. The activity, which was held in the meeting room of Timor-Leste Red Cross Liquica Branch on October 23, aims to improve the capacity of women entrepreneurs in the businesses they run.

This training itself is part of the Business and Social support for female Entrepreneurs in Timor-Leste (BEST) project which aims to address the intertwined social, economic and regulatory challenges faced by female micro entrepreneurs in starting, maintaining and expanding businesses by building the capacity of microfinance institutions (MFIs) and women’s empowerment-focused civil society organizations (WE CSOs) in Timor-Leste to align their social development goals in order to provide female entrepreneurs with access to both financial, entrepreneurial and social support.

Jose Ximenes, Alola’s Manager for the Women’s Economic Empowerment program during the training explained that this activity was one of Alola’s efforts to increase the capacity of women who have been involved in small business activities and get support from the Grameen Foundation.

“This training as well as to increase the capacity of women on how to run a small business for those who have received credit assistance from the Moris Rasik Foundation including members of the Alola beneficiaries group who have been receiving assistance”, Jose Ximenes explained.

As a global non-profit organization based in Washington DC, The Grameen Foundation has been working hard since its established in 1997 to fulfill its important mission, which is to enable the poor, especially the poorest, to create a world without poverty. In its first decade, the organization inspired by the work of Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and a global leader in fighting poverty worked with a network of microfinance institutions in Africa, America, Asia and the Middle East to expand microfinance to the poorest people in world.

Meanwhile, at the same place, Director of the Moris Rasik Foundation, Joao Magalhaens, emphasized that discipline is very important to be applied by entrepreneur groups in order to improve their abilities.

“When women have access to credit, the most important thing to pay attention to is discipline. When they start their business, the disciplinary factor must be placed as a top priority,” said Joao Magalhaens, Director of the Moris Rasik Foundation.

Founded by Helen Todd in 2000 with the main vision of reducing poverty for women and families, through social and economic services, The Moris Rasik Foundation is one of the MFIs present in Timor-Leste.  With the support of CASHPOR which is the Grameen Bank application network in Asia, the Moris Rasik Foundation opened its first branch with five centers in Maliana, Bobonaro Municipality. Until now, Moris Rasik Foundation continues to develop its branches to carry out its main mission to improve and strengthen the lives of poor women and children in society through training and coaching sourced from the international and national levels.

The availability of adequate access to credit will give a positive impact on the development of businesses managed by female Entrepreneurs in Timor-Leste and will be further enhanced by providing business education and GBV support services.

Maria da Costa Cabral, one of the women entrepreneurs from the Municipality of Liquica, expressed her appreciation for the training held. She said that she was happy to be facilitated and received assistance from the Alola foundation and the Moris Rasik foundation. She also added that as a woman living in rural areas, she needed financial assistance, one of which was from the Moris Rasik foundation.

“By representing the group, we become part of the Alola foundation and we get a grant of 1500 US dollars, with this fund we continue our business activities to this day”. Maria da Costa Cabral said.

With this BEST project, it is hoped that the capacity of women entrepreneurs at the local level will be built through technical assistance and small grants that will ultimately enable poor women to become successful entrepreneurs.