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Q&A for Prospective Partner Organizations

What is the MBS/Self-Reliance Program?

 A practical learning and action program that enables groups of participants to start and grow their own business, strengthen their homes and improve their communities.  The program starts with a 14-session group course that teaches the 6P’s of Business and helps people implement three plans – business, home quality of life and community service.  Those who complete the course and turn in their plans can earn an international MBS (Master of Business in the Street) certificate.

What kinds of organizations utilize the MBS/Self-Reliance program?

Any organization that has members, clients, students or customers who need to increase their income, strengthen their families and improve their communities. 

How could the MBS/Self-Reliance Program benefit your clients?

As they start and grow their businesses, participants increase their income (average of 64% in the first six months), raise their quality of life (average of 74%), and strengthen their neighborhood or village (average of 73%).

How could MBS/Self-Reliance benefit your organization?

Whatever your organizational goals are, MBS will help you achieve those goals more effectively as it enables your clients and members to become financially, socially and emotionally self-reliant.  It will help your members to work together with greater unity and confidence.  Whether your program goals relate to health, environment, conflict resolution, community development, human rights, skill development, family relations, micro-business, loan repayments or financial well-being – this program will enhance and complement your organization’s priorities and objectives.

How can you implement MBS/Self-Reliance without watering down or interrupting your existing programs?

MBS/Self-Reliance can be customized to your organization’s unique institutional requirements. Through MBS/Self-Reliance, your clients realize greater leadership skills, affiliation with your organization, and confidence to more effectively implement your organization’s core programs.

How can MBS/Self-Reliance be adapted to fit your organizational structure?

We can work with you and your leaders to tailor an effective match between your specific staffing, scheduling and program needs and the simple training, materials and follow-up steps that will make MBS/Self-Reliance succeed within your program.

What does it cost to initiate MBS/Self-Reliance within your organization?

With its simple, self-guided materials and group process, MBS costs are minimal. Each participant needs a workbook which costs about $4.00US per person to print.  When participants complete the 14-week course and submit business, home and community plans and simple paperwork, Interweave validates their progress and issues an international MBS Certificate.   The optional cost of follow-up, recording and issuing the certificate is $10.00.  That’s a total of $15.00 per participant.

Beyond the individual participant costs, there are costs to run the groups.  Groups typically range in size from 10 to 25 participants.  You’ll want to consider staff or volunteer time for facilitators to run the groups and costs for training and supervising facilitators.  Each group also needs a facilitator manual which costs about $25.00.

Can your organization issue your own certificates? 

Yes, but you’ll want to make sure your certificate fully helps your clients succeed.  If your self-reliance program is going to be successful, it’s important that your clients achieve some fairly minimal action standards.  Participants should complete the 14- week course, work actively in their group, complete weekly homework commitments and submit business, home and community plans and simple paperwork.   If participants simply sit in a class and don’t take action to actually start and grow a business, your certificate won’t mean much.  Interweave can help you accredit your organization so you can assure that your certificate helps participants truly succeed.   

How do you get started? You can start an MBS/Self-Reliance program within your organization.  There are two options: 

1.) Run the program yourself.  Contract with Interweave to train staff and volunteer leaders and help you launch the program.  Click here to CONTACT US! Send us an email or call, and we can help you learn how Interweave can help you launch your own program.

2.) If there is a trained Interweave Success Ambassador in your area, contract with him or her to run MBS groups with your clients.


Examples of Partner Organizations: NGO’s, government agencies, cities, schools, churches, micro-finance institutions, businesses – Any organization that serves members, clients, students or customers.


How can you get manuals?

It will be important to have manuals in hand before the initial training event and before weekly group sessions. Interweave can provide you a free PDF to print them yourself. If you can come to our office in Utah, you can buy copies here.  If you are based in the US, we can ship you books.  Click here for prices and more information.


How can you fund an MBS/Self-Reliance project?

Through participant fees, grants, volunteers or donations, your facilitator helps the organization mobilize resources for printing manuals and continuing the program.  Your clients can sustain themselves financially. Arrange for a training/launch event for stakeholders who will need to know about and support the program and prospective facilitators, such as loan officers, mentors, participant group leaders, paid instructors or new employees.  You could have one or many of these facilitators who handle multiple groups that meet once or twice a week.  Similarly, one facilitator could manage one, two or three class sessions a day.  If travel time between sites is thirty minutes or less, a facilitator can handle as many as 12 groups in a week.