Women's Microfinance Initiative

Women's Microfinance Initiative

We provide training, support services, and small loans to 27,000+ poor rural African women, so they may build income-generating businesses to support their families, improving living standards, and ending the cycle of poverty. $12 million in loans issued.

Hamida Tells Her Story!
Photo Caption
Hamida at her Shop
Photo Credit
Milly Walimbwa

WMI’s mission is to develop an inclusive and just financial system and facilitate permanent reductions in poverty by empowering women in rural East Africa to make substantial generational change in their economic and social status and catalyze systems change in the institutional financial policies that severely limit their access to capital and entrepreneurial opportunities. Our vision focuses on breaking down the barriers that severely discriminate against and routinely exclude village women from access to financial services, which in turn curtails their ability to generate income, accumulate assets and savings, and enhance their social capital as well as that of their families. We envision strengthening our framework from the bottom up, not the top down, so that it is tailored to meet the needs of rural African women.
Our basic program provides loans and on-going skills and financial training to rural women so they may start businesses, generate income on a long-term basis, and accumulate assets to improve household living standards, reduce inter-generational poverty, and promulgate changes to institutional lending protocols. Our borrowers tell our story the best!
We recently visited with Hamida. She joined WMI in 2015, starting out with a small restaurant. As the business grew, she hired a manager and opened a shop, which she runs. With her loans she buys inventory for the restaurant and most importantly, new products for her shop. She has a good eye for new trends and customers come in often to see what novelties she has on hand. Hamida would like a jumbo loan of $1,200 in her next loan cycle to expand her shop and start construction of her own house, which she will pay for out of her business income.
A widow with two children, she pays school fees of approximately $900/year for each of them. Her daughter, Muanahari, just finished high school and is waiting for exam results to see which schools she will qualify to enter to continue her education. Muanahari wants to be a doctor and has done very well in her math and science studies. Hamida's two children showed up at the shop to check out the strangers and the affectionate bond between the children and their mom was palpable. Muanahari told us she is lucky and proud to have a mom who is such a smart and successful businesswoman.

Women's Microfinance Initiative
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