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Getting Microfinance Right


It sounds like an oxymoron, but microfinance has become big business.

Grameen Bank, one of the first microfinance institutions, was founded in 1976 as a pioneer in microfinance. Currently they have about 9.5 million borrowers, close to 97% of which are women.

Founded in Bangladesh, Grameen Bank has lent billions of dollars from more than 2,500 branches throughout the world.

What is Microfinance?

To the uninitiated, microfinance refers to financial services provided to low-income individuals or groups who are typically excluded from traditional banking. Most microfinance institutions focus on offering credit in the form of small working capital loans.

Proponents of microfinance believe it is the key to raise unemployed and low-income people trapped in poverty, typically in developing countries, out of subsistence.

Unlike normal financial institutions that are primarily concerned with the borrower having enough collateral to cover the loan, many microfinance organizations focus on helping entrepreneurs succeed.

Microfinance Downfalls

However, not all microfinance programs are successful at lifting vulnerable entrepreneurs out of poverty. Some programs fail because they do not fit in with local customs, laws and beliefs.

Microfinance programs often fail because they provide loans to people who are not entrepreneurs or not adequately trained. Other programs fail because they lack accountability.

WE Empower

While we cannot claim that the WE Empower program has all the answers, one of the reasons why we have virtually a 100% repayment record is because our team works hard to avoid the mistakes made by others.

WE Empower is led by members of the communities we serve, instead of foreigners, as a way to ensure local customs, beliefs and laws are respected.

In addition, WE Empower does not give a loan until the recipient has gone through training and demonstrates entrepreneurial skills and knowledge. Our loans are also given to members of a community that holds each other accountable.

We Need Your Support

WE International’s efforts to serve the most vulnerable women, children and families in eastern Uganda–including the WE Empower microfinance program–relies solely on your support.

When you click the link below to make a contribution, 100% of the support you provide goes directly to Uganda to support our efforts there. Please consider making a contribution to support our efforts.

Click Here to Make a Contribution

Pictured in the image is Florence Aguti, one of the recipients of a microfinance loan from the WE Empower program

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