A world where the productive vulnerable groups, particularly women, have access to services that significantly improve their economic opportunities and quality of life.
To provide financial and non-financial services that are tailored to the needs of the most vulnerable towards economic independence while ensuring the institutions' sustainability.
Our Founding Story
Aime Rebecca came to Uganda in 2010 as a refugee from DR. Congo. At only the age of 13, she had to drop out of school so as to support take care of her family as her mother who was the sole breadwinner got a back problem due to heavy work as a house help. With Rebecca lacking the skills to get a job and the already high unemployment in Uganda, it was a challenge to get a decent job. Rebecca finally got a job as a hawker, which exposed her to dangerous situations and even getting raped more than once.
She desired to start her own business and not get exploited by others who were employing her. The biggest challenge was access to financing to start a business as there she had no major assets for use as collateral.
The refugee situation is growing every day the world over, with refugees making up over 26 million (UNHCR 2019). Uganda is one of the leading refugee-hosting countries with over 1.4 million refugees from DRC, South Sudan, Burundi, Somalia, etc. And according to the UNHCR report 2019, more than 81% of the refugees in Uganda are women and children, and 64% of the households are women-led.
With effect from February 2021, the aid to refugees was cut to 60% of the initial ratio due to funding shortfall (WFP, 2020), and yet the initial rations were not enough for a household to survive through the month.
And with the high unemployment rates in the country, refugees remain helpless and hopeless. Many women and girls, primarily to support their families, are pushed towards "3D jobs" (dirty, dangerous, and demanding) which leaves them vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
SMEs provide a sustainable way out of poverty. And the refugee policy in Uganda allows refugees freedom of movement and the right to work and establish businesses. But unfortunately, most refugees lack the knowledge and finances to start a business. And most financial institutions don't provide financial services to refugees because they don't have significant assets for use as collateral.
Our offers fall into three categories: training and mentoring, micro-loans, and savings programs. With our “start and grow your business” program, each woman is supported to develop a viable business, and know how to manage finances, and then access the financing to start and grow their business. Benefits include sustainable livelihoods, increased economic well-being, improved community well-being, decreased dependence on outside aid, and restoration of hope and dignity.
Since we require no collateral, the women form business families – groups of five women known to each other, who become guarantors and a support network to each other. The business families ensure collective accountability and peer support.
A small but growing team