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June 26th 2013
The Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST) recently hosted the first FAST Financial Literacy Toolbox ‘Training of Trainers’ session on June 12-14th in Nairobi, Kenya, where the organization launched the FAST Financial Literacy Training Toolbox and the new FAST Network of Consultants.
The FAST ‘Training of Trainers’ event brought together 13 organizations and individuals from across East Africa, including professional training organizations and consultants. The event was organized to equip participants with the skills needed to use the toolbox materials to teach agricultural SMEs about financial management and business accounting. Organizations that participated in the event included the FAO, Solidaridad, and the Fair Trade Organization of Kenya. The materials were prepared and presented by MicroSave on behalf of FAST, with funding from the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Hivos, the International Coffee Organization (ICO), Irish Aid, and Solidaridad.
About the FAST Financial Literacy Training Toolbox
A major barrier to the growth of agricultural SMEs in the developing world is an inadequate level of financial literacy. For example, poor financial planning and inadequate accounting can result directly in financial losses for many agricultural SMEs. Facing these difficulties severely restricts producers’ ability to access finance. In addition, lenders also require solid financial information in order to make a decision on whether to provide financing; information that these businesses often lack the financial literacy to provide.
The FAST Financial Literacy Training Toolbox is a comprehensive education package aimed at building these financial, accounting and business management skills. FAST has drawn upon the experience and expertise of its partners to compile a comprehensive toolbox, echoing the strengths of existing materials. The toolbox is a training resource that meets the needs of agricultural SMEs worldwide. The materials were developed by a team of financial training experts in consultation with FAST members including the Coffee Development Fund, the FAO, Root Capital, and Solidaridad, through the support of the CFC, the FAO, Hivos, the ICO and Irish Aid.
Learn more about the FAST Financial Literacy Training Toolbox here.
Launch of FAST Consultants Network
The FAST Consultants Networks, launched at the recent ‘Training of Trainers’ event in Nairobi, was developed as part of FASTs strategy to roll out financial literacy training on a global scale. FAST has launched the Consultants Network with the aim to equip quality educational consultants and organizations to deliver the FAST Financial Literacy Training Toolbox to agricultural SMEs worldwide. This global network of training consultants will work with local organizations to deliver trainings to agricultural SMEs, teaching them what it takes to create a “credit-ready” organization. Consultants involved in the network will be able to gather feedback for their local SMEs’ credit applications, based on FAST’s members standards, and will link applications to the financial institutions that best suit their financial needs. The FAST Consultants Network was presented on June 21st in Managua, Nicaragua, as part of the V Encuentro de Productores y Exportadores, sponsored by CEI.
The ‘Training of Trainers’ event is one of a number of events preceding the upcoming FAST Financial Fair (FFF) to be held this September in Nairobi. With the success of 8 FFFs under its belt, FAST anticipates the FFF will attract a number of ‘credit-ready’ agricultural SMEs and financial service providers with an interest in East Africa. More details on the upcoming FFF Nairobi will be released next month.
Learn more about FAST FFF’s here.