The HR&S Country Branches operates as for profit social enterprises.
It is a private company limited by guarantee, registered in the target countries and with social good as value proposition.
The way we establish each country Branch as social enterprises enables for the Branches to generate own income, benefiting from own skills and capacities together with the capital, network, expert advices, HQ Sweden etc. It is thus crucial to have minimum two members in the team with significant experience from running profitable businesses.
During the initial stages of the HR&S development we may work for free, both at HR&S HQ in Sweden and at the HR&S Country branches, not as volunteers, not as employees, but as members of a start-up company, where HR&S Sweden offers opportunities to earn money, also at the country level and the Country branches will develops also other income generating activities.
Testimony “How long will we be volunteering, we would like to be properly reimbursed, our living costs are high” Reflecting over this, who are we volunteering for? If we take the Action10 volunteer staff, they volunteer to support you. They will never be reimbursed. Not travel, not internet, not time and effort. This is volunteering. But Country Branches are start-up companies. The more effort invested the more income, that can be used for reimbursement. Attends the bi-monthly HR&S meetings to be informed and to share experience and knowledge is key to success. How can a company generate income if the staff is not informed? Reflecting over the realities.
It is the responsibility of the Country Branch’s teams to be active with generating income and to have annual financial plans so all local costs are covered by local income. We start small and ensure to not have costs exceeding the income, also not in the beginning when income is small.
The obvious first income is the interest from the loans, which grows organically as the ActionInvest capital available to give out loans from, increases. Second source of income is the RISEmember fees, which grows organically with the number of RISEmembers and the level of support that the Country branch can offer.
Mutual understanding of expectations
Creating value rather than depending on hand-outs
- Both partners have to understand and agree on the mutual expectations from the very beginning. This is entirely crucial for achieving success. The “help-me” narrative is not accepted. It is necessary to set the expectations right from the very beginning to avoid unrealistic expectations.
- Partners in aid prone environments, must be Change Agents. The change includes that partners are not looking for handouts and agrees with that this is not sustainable, but that creating value will bring the desired prosperity.
SCALE & SERV – ActionInvest
- Ten percent annual interest from giving out loans to RISEmembers.
Based on capital raised through ActionInvest.
Six months loans are paid back with 7% (thus 14% annual interest).
- RISE Centre membership fee (three levels).
The fee covers training and advice related to ActionInvest and includes quarterly RISEtalks.
- 10% of funds transferred from Action10.
To be withdrawn from the capital at the time of transfer.
- Short term loans_one month
With 36% annual interest, thus 3 % monthly interest.
– The loan-taker must also pay a fee that covers the bank-transfer costs if any.
– Guarantee: If the loan-taker is employed by a trust-worthy employer, a deal is made with the employer and the loan is paid directly from the salary. If the loan-taker is not employed, maybe the guarantee can be arranged by two employed guarantors, and the loan is paid back directly from their salaries if not paid back by the loan-taker.
– Agreement: An agreement is signed between the loan-taker and the Country Branch, stipulating all the conditions related to the loan.
- Partnerships fro development
Through joint efforts benefitting from HubSpot do we reach out to development partners with win-win pitches.
- Participant fee in webinars managed by HR&S Sweden and HR&S Expert Adviser.
These are paid for also for HR&S Sweden HQ and can be a result of the 22RISE effort.
– Students (also HR&S members) pay EUR 10 for five hour training.
– An HR&S Country Branch makes the coordination and uses the HR&S network and brand to reach students. HR&S Sweden provides a zoom-link.
- Other offers by the RISE Centre to non-members, such as computer and internet access, renting venues, back-office services and transportation.
- Training by Branch team members, for example education in the English language for Francophone students.
- A percentage of the 1st workshop deal between HR&S Sweden and a local institution.
- Offer open webinars and charge EUR 10 per participant.
- Other social enterprising type of offers by the RISE Centres.
- Seeking travel grants.
- Crowd fundraising through f ex Kwanda, through own but supported negotiations with Kwanda.
- Branch Facebook Donate button.
- Participant fee in webinars managed by HR&S Sweden and HR&S Expert Adviser.
-Support the coordination, make invitations, keep track of participants, support during the sessions, keep track of those managing the exam, as well as develop and distribute certificates.
Expected output: – Four or more annual webinars. F ex two webinars on ROPE by Cecilia: in March (for researchers and technicians) and in September (for entrepreneurs and development stakeholders), and two webinars on Scientific topics by Dr Murthy in April and October.
Expected income: 10 participants in each webinar, four webinars per year = EUR 400.
Please note: If a certain team member has done all the work with invitations and participation management, developed certificates and shared, everything related to that webinar, then this team-member may be eligible for half of the amount generated. As a token of appreciation for good work.
- Ten (and 14) percent annual interest from giving out long term loans to RISE members.
-Actively support the Action10 campaigns by interacting on the Action10 social media.
-Actively support the Action10 campaigns on the Action10 website and on Global Giving, by providing programme reports, photos and videos real-time, that can be used for the campaign.
-Seek funds from Kwanda directly to the Branch.
– Implement accountability structures so that funds are paid pack in time and with interest (see No3).
Expected income: An ActionInvest capital of EUR 20,000 would generate an income from the interest of EUR 2,000 – 2,800.
- HR&S Branches gives out short-term loans. 36% per year (3% per month) for one month loans.
- Liberia employees, loan-giver is the HR&S Branch,
one months loans, paying 3 % of the capital (A.31).
Expected income: A capital of EUR 2,000 = EUR 720
- Liberia employees, loan-giver is the HR&S Branch,
RISE Centre annual membership fee (three levels).
Offer RISE Centre services that justifies the annual membership fee. A person can become a member without taking a loan. Just pay the membership fee and benefit from the services.
– EUR 50: Access to loans; Networking between RISE members; RISEtalks, ActionTalks, Setting up a SfC road-map; Annual SfC training by HR&S Sweden; Access to the HR&S team of expert advisers.
– EUR 200: As above and in addition; Access to computer, internet, and electricity; Access to a simple co-working space; Access to back-office services; Website and social media marketing support.
– EUR 500: As above and in addition; Access to advanced co-working space; Access to venues; Access to transportation vehicles.
– Six annual RISE member events Bi-annual member networking meetings where the total capital available for loans are discussed, loans given out and loans paid back with interest in time as well as progress markers. The agenda also includes: developing and agreeing on membership contracts as well as ambitions, challenges, output, outcome and sustainable impact.
Bi-annual training on accounting at each RISE Centre involving all RISE members, arranged by the accountant. Maybe two or three hours.
Invite RISE members to attend. In addition to the training, will one of the participants pitch his business. The purpose if threefold: 1. Training on accounting. 2. RISE members insight into each others businesses and thereby being able to support each other with advice. 3. Team-building and awareness of the amount available to use as loan and the sharing of this loan, and that pay-back is key for the development of also the other RISE members.
Bi-annual local training on the SfC and support with setting up a SfC for each business. Maybe two-three hours.
Bi-annual local training on the business management. Maybe two-three hours.
Expected income: 20 x 50 = EUR 1,000 or 10 x 200 = EUR 2,000
Ten % of the first deal made between a local institution management and HR&S Sweden where the relation has been established by the branch (see No1).
Expected income: 3 x 10% of EUR 10,000 = EUR 3,000
Other social enterprising type of offers by the RISE Centres, such as local training.
– All RISE members develop and maintain a SfC for their own businesses.
– 100 % accountability among RISE members.
– Local branches team members and auditors are fully reimbursement by the Branches’ income.
- Company tax
- TestE surveys
One Stakeholder committee member is reimbursed EUR 300 per TestE survey.
- External auditing
An independent professional auditor performs annual audits and the Branch provides a management response. The fee is EUR 300 per annual audit, and occurs when the Branch capital exceed EUR 10,000, thus 3% of the turn-over.
- Internal auditing
One Branch member is assigned to perform internal auditing by the end of the fiscal year, by going through the books, checking that all expenses are reasonable and linked to an activity and that all invoices and receipts are in good order, according to international bookkeeping manners. EUR 100 per year.
EUR 100 per year
Travel, venue and snacks.
- Training during RISEtalks
(one hour) – EUR 30
- Direct guidance to one RISE member
and thereby enable high Progress marker scoring – EUR 100
- Team member reimbursement to cover direct running costs
The amount is measured against measurable output presented in the Branch annual report, and is paid at the time of annual report submission.
- Travels – to attend RISEtalks and to visit RISEmembers
- Travels – to attend RISEtalks and to visit RISEmembers
- RISE Support Centres investments
internet access, computers, cell phone, venue rent, furniture etc.
- Team member reimbursement, to also cover the work time invested
- Team member salaries
- Travel to visit other Branches
- Branch conferences
Team member end of year reimbursement
From 2022 and on-wards reimbursement to team members are based on the branches own income plus 10 % of the ActionInvest transfer during the accounting year. The reimbursement can be agreed on in a RISEtalk in January, when all team members are present, in person or via zoom, and when the amount available is presented by the accountant. The amount available is shared evenly between team members if everyone has contributed equally much, or the amount is distributed unevenly and against individual activity reports. The amount is measured against measurable results that we take note of as output in our ROPE management strategy and present in the ROPEtrello board. The reimbursement decision shall be approved by HR&S Sweden, and forms be filled for the end of year auditing, before the accountant makes the transfers.
Lessons learned & informed decisions
When HR&S launched the concept of Branches in 2019 active team members were reimbursed EUR 300 per year directly from the ActionInvest transfer.
Lesson learned i) This did not work as certain individuals seemed to join just for the sake of money but without contributing with work. This caused tension and a waste of time, effort and resources. ii) Also, it was found that loan takers did not pay interest as agreed on why this opportunity for income was restricted.
- Team-leaders and active members of the team of operations are not eligible for RISE Centre loans, as a result of ethics consideration, but are encouraged to generate a personal income as a share of the Branch income that can be used as start-up and scale-up capital for the businesses. They benefit from the RISE Centre services free of charge
HR&S Branch & RISE Support Centre investments
Investments are withdrawn form the amount generated through branches own income plus 10 % of the ActionInvest transfer during the accounting year, after a reasonable amount of direct team members reimbursements have been paid, usually around 50 %. Investment can also be made through direct sources of income.
Zambia, March 2023
SIER Human Rights and Science – Zambia
SIER Human Rights and Science is a subsidiary of Human Rights & Science (HR&S), a social enterprise registered in Sweden. Human Rights & Science has 20 years of experience from supporting scientific research, advanced laboratories, social enterprising and sustainable development in Sub-Sahara Africa, and have developed management strategies which we have translated into training and coaching.
SIER Human Rights and Science was registered in 2022 in Zambia. We aim to empower local researchers, innovators and social entrepreneurs to implement poverty reduction programmes.
A world without extreme poverty.
To empower scientific research, innovation and enterprising in Zambia through equal partnership. Within our mission lies transparency, accountability, truth, trust, harmony, equity and resilience, as well as sustainable economies and institutional capacity.
2.HR&S Business Profile
SIER Human Rights and Science Business Profile
SIER Human Rights and Science
Date of registration
13 September 2022
Private Company Limited by Guarantee
Tax payer identification number
3. SIER HR&S Team
SIER Human Rights and Science Team
Team-leader and evaluation planning
Deputy Team-leader, business management, accountant
Visibility and social media, mobile money manager
Communication and Public Relations
Business Management Adviser
4. Market Analysis
- Service Offering / Proposed Interventions and Activities
SIER Human Rights and Science Centre Zambia operates under the umbrella of HR&S Sweden and share the goal to create conditions for social enterprises to develop their operations at locations where other support is difficult to obtain. Support/Activities will be in the form of entrepreneurship training, coaching and investment capital from social investors.
SIER will adopt a product development strategy because the existing products cannot adequately meet the needs of the identified market. As such, the Centre will focus its activities on the following pillars:
Pillar One: Business Capital
Individuals running micro businesses are faced with lots of challenges in their operation and a lack or inadequate access to finance is a major constraint. They are perceived as high risk, lack track record and collateral.
The centre currently offers small loans to micro businesses as working capital to increase their stock volumes. The service offering of investment capital in the form of unsecured loans facilitates social enterprising start-up and scale-up. SIER members who benefit from the loans will be individuals who are not in an economic position to secure funding from traditional financial institutions like banks and microfinance institutions.
Unsecured loans are a great funding option for micro businesses that have no assets, or do not want to put up any collateral, or are growing quickly and need money instantly. These loans are based on factors such ability to pay, income levels, profession and personal guaranteees.
There is high demand for unsecured loans because of the unnecessity of collateral requirements and short-term loan application due to low income levels, rapid lending & approval processes. Loan uptake will increase because technology offers various advantages in terms of managing, assessing and disbursing electronic loans. It assures faster loan approval and repayment, lowers service costs, and regulatory enforcement.
Hence, the Centre intends this pillar to be the anchor of the RISE programmes, as the other pillars support the enterprise development.
Pillar Two: Mentoring Programs
Currently the Centre has not yet effected this pillar. SIER intends to offer some mentorship to its members. Mentoring programs create a natural environment of learning and can hence produce incredible learning outcomes. With mentoring programs in place, members can learn as they work on projects with their mentors. All in all, the learning engagement in their business will be much higher. Would-be successful business owners need assistance from others who have an intimate knowledge of how business works.
Pillar Three: Training Programs
SIER understands that in today’s competitive business environment, the capabilities and skills of SMEs are fundamental requirements for continuous productivity, innovation and success in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
It is understandable that when budding entrepreneurs follow their dreams of starting a business, they get swept along with excitement of it all and are consumed by the amount of work that is needed just to get the business up and running. They do not have the resources to recruit experienced personnel to cover key business operations and therefore, take everything onboard themselves, learning as they go along.
The main purpose of training is to upskill an individual and provides a raft of generic advantages and transferable skills.
4.2 Market Demand
Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Zambia play an important role in production, employment, and income. They represent 97% of all businesses in the country, with 70% of gross domestic product (GDP) and 88% of employment. In addition, SMEs also fill a key role in society, as they tend to employ a large share of the most vulnerable segments of the workforce.
Raising the competitiveness of these enterprises would help reduce the youth unemployment rate and increase the number of women in employment. This would also contribute to progress towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of reducing social exclusion and enhancing productive capacities. Spread across all economic sectors, MSMEs have the potential to help the Zambian economy diversify.
SIER recognizes the high demand levels for access to low-cost finance, access to information, access to markets as well as access to capacity development interventions that support the growth of the MSMEs and sees its programme implementation as reducing some of these challenges.
It is intended that the centre will supply the following interventions to the MSME members identified:
- Low-cost financing with flexible payment terms.
- Mentorship and coaching at both entrepreneur and enterprise level.
- Capacity Building interventions – demand driven tailor made training in financial literacy and business management skills.
- Research & Innovation.
5.Competition and Comparative Advantage
Below are some institutions that are currently offering similar products as SIER Zambia:
- CITIZENS ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT COMMISSION (CEEC)
CEEC is a government initiative under the ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises Development responsible in giving loans to marketers and other institutions or cooperatives. The minimum amount a group can get is k50, 000.00 to k3,000, 000.00 for just a year with an interest of 12 % no matter the amount. The mode of paying back depends on the loan takers. It is collateral based such as Accounts Receivables, Equipment, Purchase Orders and so on. The given group must also possess NRCs as well as ZRA Tax Payer Identification Number (TPIN).
- Zamcash – A Chinese Micro lending Institution
loan interest for 2 weeks is 20% and for 1 month is 35% and an amount of k25.00 is constantly subtracted from the loan amount one requests. According to the company k25.00 acts as collateral since it is done online. Exceeding the given period attracts a penalty fee of 1% interest per day.
- Micro Lending Institutions (MFIs)
These micro lending institutions are both at formal and informal level with some offering loans that are sector specific, eg to teachers only, while others are open only to those in formal employment. Some MFIs though are geographical and may only supply services to a certain sector of society, example, farmers in select provinces. Some formal MFIs tie their loans to capacity building/training activities as well.
MFIs have interest rates of between 10 – 30%, with amounts ranging from between K1,000 to K200,000 and repayments are dependent on the amounts, but will usually have a maximum period of 12 months. Despite their high cost, MFIs are quite popular in Zambia
- Village Banks / Savings group
These savings groups have become very popular in Zambia, especially among the micro and small enterprises. Unfortunately, most do not offer capacity development interventions.
5.2 Comparative Advantage of SIER
The Centre’s comparative advantage includes the following:
- Low and affordable interest rates of 3% per month
- Flexible loan terms
- Additional support by way of trainings, mentorship and access to information.
- Provision of research and innovation.
6.Financial Projections and Analysis
List of Assumptions
Loan interest is at 3% per month
Three loans given out per month of K1500 maximum
At least 5 application forms are provided at K5 each
Training cost at K100 per participant and a minimum of 5 members per class
One training per month
Monitroing of the three members done once a month (fuel cost of 200)
Each Training costs will include flip chart, markers, excersie books, pencils, etc)
Month 7 – 12
Interest on Loan
Total Cash In
Printing of Forms
Monitoring of Members
Total Cash Out
6.1 Analysis and Recommendations
From the projected cashflow statement, it remains evident that the Centre is not sustainable. It is recommended that the Centre may apply the following:
- Increase the interest rate per loan amount
- Incorporate some income generating activities that may not align to the direct MSME support
- Mobilize external resources to cover all administrative costs including a fee to be paid to the SIER Team members
- For greater visibility and proper management and administration of duties, the SIER Centre must operate from a physical office, which will also help in the administering of member trainings and effective member support.