The organization combines skills training and mentorship to instill financial literacy, business competencies, and a sense of independence. The first training module was launched in 2016 and has continued to expand, combining entrepreneurship skills training with development of Milagros, a jewelry workshop where the young women apply their newly acquired skills to manage all aspects of the business from design through inventory management, marketing and distribution. The business generates a fair living wage for the women who complete the training with benefits including their first opportunities to generate sufficient income to obtain independent housing and health insurance, for example.
As the training model continues to expand, Gracia wanted to evaluate its social impact through a formal social return on investment (SROI) assessment. Specifically, Gracia sought to understand whether the entrepreneurship training model is providing the benefits to the young women participating in the program that were intended at the outset – that participants are acquiring business and technical skills, becoming financially self-supporting, and developing increased independence and decision-making abilities.
- Conducted an SROI impact evaluation to quantify changes over a one-year period
- Engaged stakeholders in mixed method data collection that included facilitating a series of focus groups, conducting individual interviews and designing a stakeholder survey
- Mapped outcomes stakeholders identified as valued changes in their lives as a result of program activities
- Quantified outcomes that are attributed to program activities
- Developed impact map to categorize short- and medium-term outcomes
- Created evaluation tool with indicators as foundation for continued monitoring and evaluation to support management in continuing activities in alignment with Gracia’s mission
- Presented findings to Gracia Board of Directors and international organization considering providing external funding