Small Business Development Programme

Our small business development programme, BizATE, was developed in partnership with the local community in 2012 to address the need for sustainable income generation and tackle extreme poverty in Lawra. To do so, ATE provides kickstart grants, 12 months of business mentoring and a minimum of 2 years access to entrepreneurial and financial skills training to grow sustainable, profitable, small businesses in Lawra.

Our commercial education training programme is tailored to the specific learning requirements and tough economic environment of Lawra – where there are high rates of illiteracy and dependence on subsistence farming; where local trade is persistently tied to the annual cycle of scarcity of food and income in the ‘lean season’; and Lawra’s remote location presents significant barriers to opportunities for employment or enterprise. 

Overall, the BizATE programme aims to provide business development skills to entrepreneurs in Lawra to promote inclusive, sustainable economic growth towards an end to poverty. To date, ATE has supported over 120 entrepreneurs to run sustainable small businesses, driving forward community development and improving lives.

“When I dropped out of school and didn’t have any employable skills, the future was blurry. VocATE was designed for me, and I couldn’t let that opportunity pass me too. With this business grant, I feel proud, and I know I have another opportunity to make my life better.” Janet, a seamstress

“Through the training, I’ve learnt about building a good customer relationship – now my business is known beyond Lawra and the Upper West.” Hermas, a welder

“I took the training and mentoring seriously and applied that learning in my business…I use the money I make to pay my children’s school fees.” Mary, a weaver

Registered Charity Number: 1149988