Self-Reliant Group, Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does SRG stand for?

SRG stands for Self-Reliant Group.

2. What is a Self-Reliant Group?

An SRG is a way for people to grow as individuals by saving small amounts of money, learning new skills and gaining new experiences within the group setting which provides support, inspiration and confidence.

3. What does an SRG Do?

There are four key components to an SRG:

  • Social: Being a part of an SRG means getting to share your journey with others. Many of those involved in an SRG develop lasting bonds with one another.
  • Learning: SRGs develop their skills and knowledge through sharing the skills their members already have, training and workshops that allow them to mature as a group and individuals.
  • Saving: Every week each SRG group member contributes to the group savings. Groups then determine how they use these savings, either as start-up funds or for internal group borrowing.
  • Business: While it is not a requirement, many groups realise their power and potential to improve their lives economically through starting a small business.

4. How do I start an SRG?

We work with individuals, groups and organisations to start SRGs across Wales and South West England.

5. How are SRGs different from other community groups?

SRGs are self-reliant. SRGs self-generate their own capital – through their savings – and do not rely on others to make change happen; they determine their own future and that of their families and communities.

6. Where do I get more information?

Please get in touch with us using the Contact Us page

7. How much do the SRGs save each week?

The average weekly savings per person is £1. The amount that each group chooses to save, however, is the decision solely of the SRG.

8. What do the SRGs do with their money?

That is entirely up to the group members. The money is often used as working capital to buy small pieces of equipment or material for the business. In many SRGs, the money is also used to give small loans to members in times of need.

9. What if I don’t know what kind of business I’d like to start. Can I still start an SRG?

You might find that meeting other people regularly and talking about what you all like to do and what your community needs may inspire you. You might find that a skill or interest you have can inspire others in your group or that a skill or interest someone else has can inspire you. Purple Shoots can work with your group to suggest money making activities which over time can develop into a business.

10. Do I need a business plan to start a business as an SRG?

Purple Shoots will support you to explore your business ideas and take your first steps. Working together as a group, you will start to build a plan for your ideas. Purple Shoots have lots of experience with starting up small businesses and can give you guidance where you need it, or put you in touch with a friendly specialist.

11. What sort of organisations can make up a local partnership to support and start SRGs?

Purple Shoots can help to build a local partnership including Housing Associations, Local community groups, charities, schools, churches and other religious organisations. There are lots of different types of support they can come together to offer: financial support for facilitators to set up the group, a place to meet, publicity for an SRG’s activities, offering a piece of work to an SRG, for example cleaning or gardening.

12. If an SRG earns an income, how does that affect members’ benefits?

Each individual’s situation will be different, and we can offer one to one advice from a benefits specialist. Broadly, the money is earned by the group, and as long as it is not distributed to individual members, it does not affect a person’s benefit entitlement. Groups often choose to use their income to benefit their local community or to donate to charity as well as paying for group activities, training or equipment. They also save to lend to each other in times of hardship. We encourage all members of our SRGs to talk to their benefits advisors about their involvement with an SRG and can support people having these conversations.