Our WE Empower program works to provide micro-loans at low interest rates to local Ugandan residents without requiring collateral. In doing so, WE affirms the dignity of these individuals as worthy of investment and loans, therefore empowering the microfinance program participants. They can build and establish their own sustainable livelihood, instead of depending on handouts. As their businesses develop, participants pay back their loans, and can take out another loan in order to expand their business further.
Microfinance is an economic development model which pairs a person in need with the microloan that they need.
This person may have ideas for how to provide for their family, but may lack start-up resources. These start-up needs could be as small as $50- these are the microloans. The only loans available within this person’s community might have high interest rates attached, so paying it back would prove more costly than beneficial. Many banks also require collateral; banks are not willing to loan to low-income families or businesses who have not had the chance to establish an economic backup.
That’s why WE believes in giving a hand up, not a handout.
To supplement WE’s microfinance program, and in order to work towards sustainable economic development, WE also provides entrepreneurial training for participants. By enabling people to build a livelihood, microfinance provides a transformative opportunity for participants. Entire communities can be transformed as families are provided for, children are free from the burden of bread-winning and able to go to school, and WE are one step closer to breaking the cycle of poverty.