Business Literacy & ESL
INTERWEAVE BUSINESS-LITERACY PROGRAM
Each year Interweave programs move thousands of people from poverty to prosperity. Using the simple MBS – Masters of Business in the Streets approach, participants work with their neighbors to start and grow their own businesses, strengthen their families and improve their communities.
Unfortunately, those who need this program the most are often unable to participate because they lack basic literacy skills – including listening, speaking, reading and writing. Worldwide, there are more than 800 million adults who cannot read and write and even more who cannot communicate in the dominant language needed to do business or attend school. These individuals who lack language proficiency tend to be among the poorest of the poor.
In response to this compelling need, Interweave has developed an innovative business literacy alternative so that all participants can become self-reliant. This simple option enables participants to bridge the gap between low literacy and business success.
Through two interrelated manuals – ABC’s of Business and English for Business Success– participants master business-focused literacy sufficient to participate in Interweave’s MBS program. The starting-level manual – ABC’s of Business – introduces letters, sounds, words, sentences, and paragraphs related to business and self-reliance. Participants discuss stories about business concepts through a range of beginning and advanced reading and writing activities.
The second-level manual – English for Business Success – emphasizes business-related listening and speaking skills. Participants improve their ability to understand and converse through stories that teach business basics. Both manuals introduce the 6P’s of Business and literacy skills needed to participate fully in Interweave’s Success in Business materials. In this way, non-readers become leaders in Interweave MBS self-reliance groups:
- Single mothers who need English to do business in Gulu, Uganda worked together to learn the vocabulary and principles of the 6P’s of Business. With new skills, they are now completing Interweave’s Success in Business program.
- Parents in Guyana who couldn’t master a self-reliance course used Interweave literacy materials to prepare to succeed in business training.
- Non-English speaking refugees in Salt Lake City learned Business English to participate in the Interweave MBS course.
- In Mexico, native dialect Tzotzil speakers are learning how to read and write in Spanish in order to become more marketable in their local community.
In addition to English, Interweave business literacy materials have been successfully adapted into Haitian Creole. Similar adaptations are being developed in Spanish and local African dialects.
Interweave can help your organization – whether it be an NGO, refugee program, school, church or government agency – to adopt these innovative literacy tools to help your members and clients succeed in business.