Transition to Work

We work in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries where rates of failure in new business can hit as high as 75%. But with your support, we can ensure our trainees will have the best possible chance to succeed and build a sustainable livelihood for their future.


Tools for Self Reliance are proud to have been supporting trainees for over 40 years, creating budding new entrepreneurs full of ideas and qualified in vital trades. But we know times are hard, especially with the compacted issues of Covid-19 and cost-of-living driving material prices ever higher, so we must offer that extra support to help our trainees overcome the barriers in starting successful businesses.  

To support our trainees we have launched our Transition to Work scheme. We have rolled out a complimentary training course for trainees focusing on securing employment, or setting up business. This course can last up to one year and encompasses business training, support groups, mentoring sessions and sometimes even start-up grants* after our trainees graduate. They may benefit from capital to put down their first rental payments, undertake CV writing workshops, or have one-on-one support to strengthen their business marketing.

This means we work in partnership to offer additional lessons, equipment, troubleshooting for real-life problems and work with local businesses to grow our graduates’ vital experience in their new trade. 

Demonstrating growth – Judith Nyowu 

Judith Nyowu was living in one of the slums in Accra on her own with two small daughters, one of whom attends school. She had only received primary education before dropping out of school as her parents could not afford to keep sending her. On starting the initial vocational training project her confidence in her abilities to read and write were poor. She made a meagre living selling kenkey (a traditional Ghanaian maize food stuff) and was working 7 days a week earning roughly £12.65 a month. She rated her happiness as ‘Not at All’. She was determined that she wanted to set up and run her own business at the end of her training.  


 After the initial year of training the endline data demonstrated that her confidence in her ability to make her own decisions and her happiness levels had risen sharply. However, she was still struggling to easily meet the needs of her family and with the start-up capital required for a business.  

After the year of Transition to Work Judith has finally managed to set up her business and her ability to earn and save has significantly increased. The start-up grant enabled her to purchase new tools and pay for the rent for her shop. She now has customers requesting other items from her and she is diversifying her range in response to this. Judith says she now feels confident in creating a future business plan and has much more faith in her business and financial skills in helping this to grow in the future.

Because of the training and confidence, I can boast of working for myself and earning an income.


Where we work