Women's Microfinance Initiative

Started by women in the Washington, D.C. area, WMI makes loans to impoverished women in developing nations who have no access to banks. Issuing affordable, collateral-free loans for as little as $50, WMI promotes women's economic empowerment to reduce global poverty. WMI's goal is to help poor women build assets to stabilize their income, improve their familiy's living standard, become advocates for their families/communities, and transition into independent banking and the formal economy.
Feb 7, 2011

Update from Uganda!

WMI just completed its 2011 trip to East Africa to review the progress of loan program operations.  The results were just terrific - the village level loan programs are running smoothly under the guidance of WMI's Local Director, Olive Wolimbwa, and her team at the Bulambuli Widow's Association (BWA).  Women's businesses are growing steadily larger and the local economy has expanded noticeably in the villages where WMI operates.  A full report on the visit will be posted shortly.
 
Buyobo - January 2011 - Colleen Rossier
Colleen Rossier in Buyobo, January, 2011

Colleen Rossier, a 2010 graduate from UVA with a degree in environmental science travelled to Uganda in January 2011 for a 3 week internship with the WMI loan programme. She joined Montana Stevenson and Ainsley Morris who have been in Uganda since the end of September working with the ladies on their transition to independent banking and preparing a banking manual. Colleen currently works for the US Department of Agriculture and was especially interested in local farming techniques, animal husbandry, and environmental stewardship. Click here to see a slideshow of her visit including many shots of the WMI loan program in action and village life.

Nov 23, 2010

Must see Uganda Photos!

Prisca Mafabi and Her Motorbike
Prisca Mafabi and Her Motorbike

If you haven’t already done so, take a minute to look at the latest blog post from the field on the WMI web site and you will see the smiling faces of some of the first Buyobo Motorbike Ladies posing with their hogs.   http://wmionline.wordpress.com/.  That’s right!  WMI loans have empowered women to start buying motorbikes so that they can solve one of the most intractable problems rural businesswomen face: lack of reliable transportation.  Rather than waiting for the government to provide a reliable transportation infrastructure, WMI borrowers are earning enough money to start taking matters into their own hands.  The motorbikes are economical and can handle the rugged terrain.   Women use them to transport goods, search for suppliers and markets, and provide transport to other borrowers who need it.  The Buyobo Motorbike ladies are providing a resource for the entire village.

You will smile when you see how proud these women are of their accomplishment. Like Priscia Mafabi, with one hand on her cell phone, and the other balancing her motorbike, you can see that she is definitely taking care of business! 

Joy Nangoye and Her Motorbike
Joy Nangoye and Her Motorbike
Olive Nangoli and Her Motorbike
Olive Nangoli and Her Motorbike

Links:

Oct 4, 2010

WMI Blog--Updated by WMI Interns in Uganda and Kenya!

This fall Montana Stevenson and Ainsley Morris will be in Uganda and Kenya working on WMI projects for 4 months, starting at the end of September.  WMI has asked them to blog once a week about their experiences.  They will be traveling all the way to Kable in southwestern Uganda to launch new loan programs and as far as Nyahururu in central Kenya to visit existing ones.  In between, they will interview borrowers and their families, conduct trainings, and meet with PostBank staff to develop a written manual on transitioning to independent banking.  Share their insights, photos and videos during this exciting 4 month journey on the new WMI blog at:
 
A link to the blog also appears in the header on the WMI web site.
 
You can post comments on the blog, so please let them hear from you while they are out in the field!  They will really welcome feedback from WMI supporters while they are away.

Links:

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