Sarah at Work
Today, July 18, is a special Global Giving Bonus Day! Your donation to the WMI loan program will receive a 50% matching as long as funds are available. The $120,000 matching fund will go quickly, but new recurring donations will receive a 100% match the entire day. A donation of just $10 a month will fund a loan for one of our borrowers like Sarah, whose story we share below.
Sarah was born and raised in Buganda in Central Uganda but moved to Kaama, a village close to our Buyobo headquarters in Eastern Uganda. She came to Kaama with her parents in her early adult years when they decided to return to their homeland. Since moving back, Sarah has set up her life with her three children, runs her farm where she grows and harvests beans to sell, is actively involved in her community church as a chorister, and operates her clothing business.
Sarah is one of our new borrowers, currently in her first loan cycle. Sarah’s business involves taking a day-long journey by bus to the capital city of Kampala to buy clothes. She then carries them back to sell at the Bugusege market near her home. For the seven years prior to joining WMI’s loan program, she had only enough capital to buy a few clothes at a time to sell. Since joining the WMI loan program, Sarah has used her loans to buy in bulk, which has greatly reduced her costs, and thus increased her profits, as she is now in a better position to bargain for a lower price when buying in Kampala.
Like any growing business, Sarah faces some challenges. Her greatest challenge presently is her location. She does not have a shop yet, meaning that, first of all, she is limited in the amount of clothes that she can have in stock, and secondly, she must sell under the hot Ugandan sun. Nevertheless, she is currently applying her new skills from WMI’s training program to save up for a shop. She looks forward to having her shop a year from now and hopes that will increase her number of customers.
Another one of Sarah’s challenges from her growing business is that buying in bulk increases the chances of buying clothes that are of a lower quality than she is known to sell. When this happens, she uses her negotiation skills and good customer relations skills to successfully sell off the lower quality clothes so that she can afford to restock her inventory with better quality ones.
In addition to using her newly acquired skills to address her challenges and expand her business, Sarah has been applying her skills to manage her home as well. Particularly, lessons in saving, record-keeping and general business management have better equipped her to manage her home of three children, and to look after her aging parents.
Sarah feels very grateful for the WMI loan program. She is glad for the communal support from her loan group members and guidance from the WMI training support staff in helping her further expand her business. She thinks it makes her a better woman and an inspiration to her daughters. She greatly appreciates all the support WMI offers women and hopes that they go on to help others like her.
Thanks to all the WMI donors who share our vision to combat poverty through empowering women and giving them the skills they need to support their families we plan to help many more women just like Sarah. Won’t you help us today?
Sarah in the Market