This projects funds a self-sustaining micro finance initiative issuing collateral-free, interest-bearing loans, for as little as $50, to poor women in rural East Africa to assist them in starting businesses, building assets and gaining business skills so that they can generate income on a long-term basis, permanently improving their household living standards, and achieving financial independence for themselves and their families.
WMI is tackling global poverty and the disenfranchisement of impoverished, rural women in East Africa. Launched in 2008 in rural Buyobo, Uganda, WMI has provided over 60,000 microloans worth over $8 million to chronically poor women in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, many supporting AIDS orphans. Borrowers start small businesses and use their profits to pay for school fees, food and healthcare. Communities benefit as borrowers hire helpers and advocate for local improvements.
WMI will screen, train and issue loans of $50 - $250 to impoverished women to start businesses. WMI will organize borrower meetings, conduct site visits, provide ongoing business education and introduce women to dealing with the local bank. The key to the loan program's success is that the women become empowered. Women learn to keep business records, hone their entrepreneurial skills, and increase their self-confidence. Ten years of data collection and analysis shows the impressive outcomes.
Empowering women living in desperate poverty in rural East Africa promotes in-country development from the bottom up. Women become involved in grass roots movements and advocate for far-reaching social and economic changes in their own country. The borrowers' priorities for the use of their profits are: better nutrition, healthcare and paying school fees for their children. WMI provides outreach in all of these areas by empowering women with options to provide better care for their families.
This project has provided additional documentation in a DOCX file (projdoc.docx).
WMI loan impact on poor households
2013 - WMI 5 Years Strong by Olive Wolimbwa
How it Works: Video of Buyobo Project