Our research shows that rural poverty is caused by financial mismanagement and not lack of funds.

The Problem

Our research shows that rural poverty is caused by financial mismanagement and not lack of funds.

In their journey towards self-reliance, the women face four primary challenges: financial mismanagement, underdeveloped business skills, lack of confidence and leadership and the fact that they live in villages where they can't access tools freely available in cities. We aim to solve them all with our Self Shakti Program.

FINANCIAL

They mismanage their funds because they have no skills or knowledge on how to plan financially.

BUSINESS

They don’t know the basic nuances of business like the difference between income and profits.

LEADERSHIP

They lack courage, pride and belief in themselves. They haven’t experienced being independent.

ACCESSIBILITY

They live in remote locations and can’t travel much. So need relevant training at their doorsteps.

'I took loans for my business, loans to pay interest, loans for festivals and loans to repay other loans. The tension made my husband beat me every night.' Devamma,

Tumkur Village, Karnataka.

36-year-old Devamma was seeped in debt before she attended the Self Shakti Program. She had taken loans for her tailoring business, loans from moneylenders and banks and friends to repay the earlier loans and their interest. After the program, she realized that her problem was not lack of funds but that of knowledge on how to manage her business accounts. 'I started bookkeeping for my tailoring business, curtailed my expenses and spending habits and started to save Rs 900 per month,' she said. Within a few months, her outstanding debt of Rs 30,000 had been paid by her own earnings. She put up a petty shop in front of her house along with her tailoring business. Now Devamma has reduced her expenses and has built up savings of Rs 13,500. Her personal life also improved as she gained the confidence to stand up to her family and collaborates with her husband on financial decisions. Like in Devamma's case, Buzz India's on-field research has shown that one of the primary causes of poverty in rural Karnataka is not lack of funds, but rather financial mismanagement and a lack in taking up opportunities. Women lack financial literacy and have poor-to-non-existent saving habits. Women who manage household finances pay little attention to their spending habits; they cannot account for their expenses and therefore have no awareness about unnecessary expenditure. Women who earn some income from daily wages or micro-scale enterprises lack basic financial knowledge related to daily money management, profit and savings. This has led to increased dependence on private moneylenders which keeps them trapped in the cycle of poverty. We believe that providing leadership skills along with improving financial literacy among rural women will help them address all these challenges and change their behaviour towards money. Which is why we've created the Self Shakti Program, which teaches them finance management, develops their habit of saving and makes them confident and self-reliant to pursue their dreams.

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