Women Economic Empowerment
Globally over 380 million women and girls live in poverty. Among many other challenges is the lack the capital to enable them to start or expand a business to earn a sustainable income. 68% of people in northern Uganda live in poverty, women and girls constituents the majority in this disturbing reality
Uganda is an agrarian society, with most of the population living in rural areas mainly engaged in subsistence farming. Women provide over 70% of agricultural labor and are primarily involved in production for domestic consumption. Due to social and cultural constraints, few5 women own land, which limits their control and sale of the proceeds; it also limits their ability to secure credit from financial institutions due to lack of collateral.
The only gap is that they lack the capital to start or expand a business to earn a sustainable income; we provide women and girls with microloans of $50- $300 to start or grow a small business. With their microloans, women invest in agro-business, poultry farming, produce business, sawing business, fish farming on a small scale, small shops, bakeries, and restaurants. On average, each borrower supports a family of five. Therefore, each microloan benefits around five people. When the loan is repeatedly paid back and loaned out, the number of people who helped multiplies exponentially.
Women are the primary recipients of microcredit loans because they are a better risk – they have a higher repayment rate and are more responsible with their money. Studies have shown that women are more interested and, therefore, more likely to improve their children's lives, including nutrition, health, and education. Data also suggests that lending to women significantly increases food and non-food expenditures per household, suggesting that lending to women improves the health and well-being of the entire family.
Business Skills Training
Our training includes budgeting, inventory control, record keeping, business planning, and more. Attendance at this training is mandatory for a woman to receive a loan. In addition, our program provides mentoring by a trained community resource person (Peer Counsellor) and peer support groups comprised of women from the same community. They support and educate one another as they grow their businesses.
When women succeed, they are three times as likely as men to reinvest in their families, business, and community. Some of our microloan borrowers have gained so much confidence that they take leadership positions in their communities.