As a follow up to the Mud crab Awareness trainings in Ba and Tailevu provinces, WiFN-Fiji organised financial literacy and business training to assist the community meet a key need they had identified.
The training was facilitated through Women Entrepreneurs and Business Council (WEBC) and delivered by Westpac Bank to promote and assist women in budgeting and planning and banking their income and teach them basic business practices.
The two major topics covered include Financial First Steps and Business Basics. These sessions assisted participants how to plan their income, to save, start a business from Mud crab income and sustain it.
In Tavua village, Ba province, a total of 54 participants attended comprising 17 males and 37 females. The one day workshop proved to be successful based on the number of participants and the intensity of participation throughout the whole day program.
In Buretu village in Nakelo, Tailevu, a total of 80 participants, comprising 13 male and 67 females attended the training.
There was a strong interest in these workshops and many participants learnt for the first time about income management and banking. This information can assist those who want to manage their finance better – as the participants explained income acquired from mud crab fishing is easily and quickly spent off since it is kept at home and not banked.
Key Issues raised by training participants were:
|Lack of access to banks||The distance, limited and expensive transport costs restricts rural communities from accessing banks and opening accounts|
|Number of documents required||The number of documents required by banks for people to open new accounts is onerous. Banks could review this as a way to enable rural people to bank|
|Literacy and interpretation
|Villagers can have difficulty in interpreting and filling bank forms which are in English|
|Customer service||It was suggested that villagers be provided Itaukei assistance at the banks|
|Rural banking||Villagers will benefit from increase awareness and access to rural banks|