Training Manual: Financial Management and Income Generation In Co-operatives

A Training Guide for Co-operators and Co-operative Trainer.

The main objectives of the training guide are the following:

  • Provide tools for financial management:  Most co-operatives in South Africa are established within poor communities and under resource constraints.  For these co-operatives to survive and grow they have to be able to source capital.However, capital is only forthcoming if the co-operatives have sound and proper financial management.  Government and donors have “lost” lots of financial resources that are invested in local development projects.  In other words, many projects fail even though some kind of external financial support has been put in place.  The tools provided in this manual will contribute to building the necessary financial management capacity in co-operatives so that they can be effective and sustainable recipients of financial resources.
  • Provide tools for income generation:  In most instances in South Africa today, co-operatives have to compete with established businesses and corporations to win their share of community or local markets.  In this context, knowledge and expertise about income-generation strategies are absolutely necessary.  This manual provides co-operators with tools to utilise their collective strengths, opportunities and financial resources effectively to win enough space for their survival in a market place dominated by established businesses.
  • Build the capacity of co-operative leadership and membership to understand financial management:  The financial management skills developed in this manual will contribute to better leadership of co-operatives and the movement, improve governance, and ensure better self-management decisions.
  • Build the co-operative movement:  The co-operative movement will be strengthened through ensuring the economic success of co-operatives in providing livelihoods and sustainable economic development for their worker-owners,members and communities.
  • Empower trainers to train other co-operators:  Every co-operative has to have the capacity to educate its worker-owners about financial management and income generation.  This guide attempts to develop training capacity among co-operators by empowering a core of dedicated trainers who will share this knowledge and tools with other co-operators.  In the end, every co-operator has to be a trainer and learner, and ultimately understand financial management and income generation in a co-operative.