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Changing Business Practices for Improved Access to Finance

Originally published by SHOPS Plus

Beauger Tamba (left) and Fatou Samb (right) of SABES paramedical health facility decided to make changes to the way they manage their business after attending a SHOPS Plus training program.

At a recent business training session for Senegalese health providers, Beauger Tamba, a nurse who owns SABES paramedical health facility, had a burning question for one of the training facilitators.

The owner asked the facilitator—Bamba Fall of SHOPS Plus—how he was so familiar with SABES’s business practices. Fall explained that he wasn’t; he was just explaining how health providers usually manage their businesses in Senegal. The owner laughed and told the facilitator that it seemed like he was using his health facility as a business case.

Sometime later, the SHOPS Plus facilitator went to the clinic to coach the owner and his colleague Fatou Samb, a midwife at SABES who also attended in the training. The two SABES employees proudly told Fall several decisions they had made after attending the training session.

They acknowledged that the SHOPS Plus training session made them aware of weaknesses in their business practices and prompted them to devise solutions. SABES is now on track to thrive as a healthy business.

SABES paramedical health facility, a Marie Stopes International BlueStar franchise, offers pediatric and ob/gyn services—including family planning.

Tamba agreed to pay himself a regular salary, so that the business’s true performance could be measured. He would no longer take money out of the cash received daily, and decided to make daily deposits at the bank to establish a record of cash flow and overall revenues.

Providers like Tamba, who have an open mind and are willing to establish formal management practices, will gradually become more compliant with bank standards. This will enable them to access credit to finance capital improvements for their clinics.