Revolving fund for women micro- entrepreneurs in the slums of Kosovo & Katanga

$100

Helps a woman revamp her business

$30

Helps a woman attend the alternativ course

Help us on our journey to give women the opportunity to have their own businesses back and their families a chance at a more independent future.

Revolving fund for women micro- entrepreneurs in the slums of Kosovo & Katanga

$100

Helps a woman revamp her business

$30

Helps a woman attend the alternativ course

Help us on our journey to give women the opportunity to have their own businesses back and their families a chance at a more independent future.

Helping women is helping the greater community.

This is a truth we encounter every day when serving single mothers in communities.

World over, mothers are driven to give their children the best life, and opportunities, that they can.

How do you do that though, when you lose / spend your business capital to feed your children because of Covid’19 lockdown? And takes the promise of the future away from your children? When you are left you with nothing?

You start again. From scratch.

Its reported that over 1000 families have lost their small businesses in Kosovo and Katanga alone

2.5 Million Ugandan women are likely to fall back into extreme poverty.
Therefore there is a need to ensure economic and business continuity happens in a way that prepares for lasting growth and sustainability to also mitigate future crises.

It's been 2 months since the lockdown was partially lifted. You'd expect a much more vibrant environment but it's not the case. The road to economic recovery post covid19 lockdown has had a harsh impact on vulnerable women and girls.

During the lockdown, many women / young girls resorted to shoddy jobs that exposed them to sexual abuse and early pregnancies while women who were struggling to make ends meet from their small businesses were forced to fold up and sell their business material in order to provide food for their children.

Many women in our society are just on the come up of financial independence. They run micro and small businesses in tailoring, baking, hairdressing, crafts-making and farming but are finding it hard to find their ground again due to these major setbacks.

We must continue to fight for decent employment and preserve women's lives during the difficult road to economic recovery.
We have identified 120 women micro entrepreneurs to support their economic recovery.

They do not see a way our of this Covid’19 situation, unless we do come out and build this road they will still face countless problems, including hunger, unemployment and domestic violence.

The Challenge:

In the initial transition to the entrepreneur livelihood goes like this.

The woman entrepreneur typically lacks management and formal financial literacy skills, and may struggle to find financing to start and develop their enterprise. While their business acumen may improve over time, they will continue to struggle with financial access. Urban Slum, informal micro-entrepreneurs primarily rely on savings, community lending, and microfinance institutions (MFIs) for access to capital. Most of the financing and support for this pathway happens informally within communities. There are some informal support systems that have integrated these entrepreneurs into their agent networks—notably around mobile banking—however, this remains the minority.

Informal micro-entrepreneurs are critical in communities like slums where everyone is pretty much a low income earner. They are the true last mile source of goods and services, providing everything from school uniforms to seeds to phone credit.

The government on the other hand has failed to draft concrete strategies to help small and medium enterprises recover from the effects of the lockdown. The interest rates on savings are as low as 4% and deposits in commercial banks have considerably gone low which translates to low circulation of income throughout the country. If middle income earners are struggling this much, imagine how much more the informal micro-enterpreneurs are suffering. Their lack of access to more formal systems and service providers makes them more vulnerable to exogenous shocks, such as COVID-19.

Household-level impact of COVID-19 on Urban slum micro-entrepreneurs: Resilience as a survival strategy

COVID-19 has had an immediate impact on household-level spending. 40-85% of the women led households reduced spending on food, with basic clothes and education for children also significantly affected. These immediate effects are likely driven by declines in direct income from small business enterprises affected by government lockdowns and social distancing, as well as a decrease in remittance payments coming from urban areas or overseas.

The long-term effects as economies slow down are likely to be worse. If customers cannot pay for micro-enterprise services and these enterprises, in turn, continue to lose income, there will be a knock-on effect throughout communities. Decreased cash flow within households will have more ramifications when the next school semester starts, with many families likely to deprioritize education spending. And in the worst case scenario, if the virus itself reaches urban slum areas at scale, healthcare and funeral costs will cause significant financial hardship on families.

Reduced livelihood opportunities for women impact the whole household, as this income is generally prioritized toward food, education, and healthcare. The most immediate impacts are likely to be a reduction of household food security, and a sharp increase in instances of gender-based violence.

Urban micro-enterprises—and the women households that own them—are highly vulnera- ble. While they are often referred to as resilient, this resilience is not a strategy or character trait, but rather the only choice most women have if they want to keep providing for their families. They are locked out of formal mechanisms of lending or similar types of support. because they lack high formal education and barely have collateral. As informal enterpris- es, they also receive no support from government programs. The effects of the pandemic risks pushing these entrepreneurial households squarely back into poverty. There’s nobody to financially back them but we know we can. We are their only chance out of this!

“I had to choose between saving my captial or feed my children, I chose not to let them starve, and I lost my business”
- Komuhendo

Komuhendo is a 42-year-old mother of 3 children staying in the slums of Kosovo, she is a refugee from Rwanda who came to Uganda with her family in search of a better life and work. Unfortunately, what she found isn't what she expected. She had to sleep on the street with her family as she looked for work. Her husband on reaching Uganda became lazy and deserted work completely turning into a drug addict. He started stealing money from Komuhendo and beating her. When her husband became violent she decided to part ways with him so as to protect her children.

As a single mother, she had to improvise and get a job in order to support her children. She joined the US4Women program where she was equipped with a skill and graduated under the 2nd cohort of our Us4women program. Komuhendo was able to get a loan after graduation in order to start up a small scale business that will sustain her family and also be in position to pay rent. She started selling second-hand shoes in order to raise money to support her family. Her business was profitable all the way, not until COVID’19 hit the world.

Because of COVID the Ugandan government forced lockdown and curfews, she had to temporarily close her business, knowing that things will be back to normal much sooner, they didn't. After two months she had already run out savings, with no work, no food she sought some help from 92hands Foodbank to feed her children and that helped her and her children make it through the lockdowns with food in their stomachs.

Now that the lockdowns are lifted and things are starting to get back to normal, as a micro-entrepreneur she wants to get back to business, but the fact that she had to choose to feed her children instead of saving the capital, she doesn't have a single penny to start again. She was quoted “ I know I can make this work, even when it means I get another loan, I know I can repay it... I just don’t qualify for any institutional loan.”

“I had to choose between saving my capial or feed my children, I chose not to let them starve, and I lost my business”
- Komuhendo

Komuhendo is a 42-year-old mother of 3 children staying in the slums of Kosovo, she is a refugee from Rwanda who came to Uganda with her family in search of a better life and work. Unfortunately, what she found isn't what she expected. She had to sleep on the street with her family as she looked for work. Her husband on reaching Uganda became lazy and deserted work completely turning into a drug addict. He started stealing money from Komuhendo and beating her. When her husband became violent she decided to part ways with him so as to protect her children.

As a single mother, she had to improvise and get a job in order to support her children. She joined the US4Women program where she was equipped with a skill and graduated under the 2nd cohort of our Us4women program. Komuhendo was able to get a loan after graduation in order to start up a small scale business that will sustain her family and also be in position to pay rent. She started selling second-hand shoes in order to raise money to support her family. Her business was profitable all the way, not until COVID’19 hit the world.

Because of COVID the Ugandan government forced lockdown and curfews, she had to temporarily close her business, knowing that things will be back to normal much sooner, they didn't. After two months she had already run out savings, with no work, no food she sought some help from 92hands Foodbank to feed her children and that helped her and her children make it through the lockdowns with food in their stomachs.

Now that the lockdowns are lifted and things are starting to get back to normal, as a micro-entrepreneur she wants to get back to business, but the fact that she had to choose to feed her children instead of saving the capital, she doesn't have a single penny to start again. She was quoted “ I know I can make this work, even when it means I get another loan, I know I can repay it... I just don’t qualify for any institutional loan.”

MOVING FORWARD>>>

We Have a Plan

We are taking on the journey to give women the opportunity to have their own businesses back and their families a chance at a more independent future and the only thing now they need is an interest-free loan.

Most of the businesses these women run are capital-centric. Without cash, they cannot invest in machinery, buy goods and raw materials or rent safe working spaces which essentially means, compromising on standards of living because they can’t even feed their children without their small businesses.

Over the years through our Us4Women Program, we have committed ourselves to see Women entrepreneurs build businesses and lift themselves out of poverty. They were steadily making progress but Covid19 has retrogressed that break-through. That’s why we must gear up to support them on their way out of this COVID Wave.

How you can best support this pathway:

$100

Helps a woman revamp her business

$30

Helps a woman attend the alternativ course

$12,000

will help 120 women bring their businesses back to life.

Will you join us in providing women with hope and empowerment through business?


Location

Lungujja, Kampala
along Kalema Road

Contact

+256 705 783 917
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Copyright © 92hands.org 2021. All Rights Reserved

Website by era92

Copyright © 92hands.org 2021. All Rights Reserved

Website by era92