Microenterprise Assistance Program
SPIs Farah Zulaikha Microenterprise Assistance Program features a three-phase training component to help ensure the success of each participant. Phase One focuses on imparting an understanding of basic business principles and must be completed before any funds are disbursed. Once the initial phase is finished and the applicant has demonstrated the necessary attributes to proceed, we begin Phase Two , a year-long program of instruction that helps participants gain necessary skills in finance, marketing, operations and management. After 12 months, participants embark on Phase Three, which includes periodic training seminars and continuous mentorship for an additional year.
Each participant in the Microenterprise Assistance Program receives continuous guidance, support, and encouragement from one or more experienced entrepreneurs for a period of three years. While mentors do not provide formal instruction in specific disciplines, they offer practical expertise, helpful insights, valuable networking assistance, creative problem solving skills, and of course an empathetic ear. When possible, participants are also matched with graduates of the Microenterprise program who are able to enhance the instruction and mentorship components of the program. Through shared experiences, graduates serve as powerful role models in a way that other mentors cannot.
Survivors who are accepted to the program receive no-interest micro-loans to fund approved start-up costs for their first year of business. Funds are paid directly to approved vendors rather than passing through the hands of participants and may be used for expenses such as computers, software, printers, Internet, Web site development, phone, fax, marketing, advertising, etc. Repayment begins three months after the business is launched, and monthly payments equal 2% to 10% of the business's monthly net income.
At Safe Port Initiative, we consider accountability key to the success, credibility and longevity of the Microenterprise Assistance Program. As such, we have implemented a series of metrics to ensure optimal financial, operational, educational, and ethical stewardship. In addition to requiring weekly reports from participants during their first year, we conduct monthly due diligence meetings and collect monthly reports from mentors. Moreover, as we believe it is important for participants to give back to the community, we ask all qualified, seasoned graduates of the program to serve as mentors to new grads for one year.
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Become the Crown Jewel of Microenterprise
SPI's Microenterprise Assistance Program, which is generously sponsored by international fashion model and philanthropist Farah Zulakiha, is built upon seven key virtues: wisdom, integrity, perseverance, compassion, generosity, faithfulness and love. You can equip survivors to become small business owners by reserving a personalized jewel on the Crown of Virtues = a permanent sculpture that will be erected in the Farah Zulaikha Micro-enterprise Assistance Center on SPI's New York recovery campus!
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