This study has a largely descriptive aim, using a mixture of quantitative cross-sectional survey and qualitative inepth interviews (IDIs) in two selected rural areas in each country.
- Overall, women who took part in the Seed Money Scheme (SMS) expressed positive outcomes at the individual, household and community level. Many women in the study reported being more economically independent, being able to help their household with essential expenses and gaining greater respect from other community members.
- Previous studies showed that women who succeed in their business do become more empowered either through an increased freedom of movement, increased feelings of self worth and greater involvement in household decision making.
- The programme also showed the development over time of significant cost-sharing between Camfed and the communities supported, suggesting the potential sustainability of these outcomes.
- Since most girls joining the Scheme already have higher levels of education attainment than the national average, chances of profitable business outcomes have already increased as education has been highlighted as a key to successful microenterprise, although the family and economic background of this study sample do not provide them with the additional benefits that often accompany those with higher education.
- If microfinance programmes are to achieve wider social goals, such as that of women's empowerment, trainings and services beyond financial and business oriented must play a role.