The Emerge Bank and Emerge Store Simulation
The Emerge Store and Emerge Bank are part of a simulation that participants go through in each workshop in order to learn about budgeting, inventory, and strategic decision-making. The Emerge Store and Bank are run by current participants and enable the girls to learn about important transactions they will make outside of the home when they leave. Each participant also has a secure personal savings account in a Sri Lankan bank where all savings generated through the program is deposited.
At each workshop, our Program Coordinator meets with each participant one-on-one. During this time, she checks the participants’ progress in the Beads-to-Business workbook; collects, checks and logs jewelry created; and provides individualized support. Participants are issued an Emerge check to deposit in a simulated Emerge bank account (meanwhile, they accrue real money in their personal savings account). They are also issued a spending limit for the week for the Emerge Store.
At each workshop, program participants fill out order vouchers denoting the type and quantity of materials they want and tally the total cost. Once a girl’s vouchers is complete, she takes it to the bank and checks with the banker to make sure that she has enough funds in her bank account to make the purchase. If she does, the banker will grant her permission to make her purchase by marking her voucher, and then will note the transaction in her bank account log. Once the voucher is complete and approved, the girls go to the store to order their materials. The storekeepers fill their orders based on the items requested on the voucher.
Girls are responsible for depositing checks in their Emerge bank account and making withdrawals for their purchases. They’re also responsible for ensuring they have enough money in their bank account to make their withdrawals. A participant in Stage 2 runs the bank, learning to account for deposits and withdrawals that other girls make. The Emerge Bank account does not mirror girls’ real accounts as girls do not actually buy their materials from Emerge. Rather, it is an exercise to teach girls how bank accounts work.