Pathways out of extreme poverty
Village Enterprise’s “graduation” programme has a strong track record of lifting people out of extreme poverty. Following a successful first grant, we’re continuing to support Village Enterprise in Uganda funding them to provide a further 2,700 extremely poor individuals, mostly women, with the knowledge, skills and confidence required to run sustainable micro-businesses. There is strong evidence that these interventions, which offer access to seed capital and provide business, financial literacy and saving training, followed by ongoing mentoring, lead to a significant and persistent increase in consumption, assets and income, as well as improvements in nutrition and subjective well-being.
According to a World Bank poverty assessment (2016), Uganda has achieved one of the fastest reductions of population living on $1.90 per day or less (from 53.2% in 2006 to 34.6% in 2013) in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, the figures for those living in extreme poverty in Northern and Eastern Uganda remain dangerously high, especially in rural areas.
Following on from a successful 3-year grant that ran from 2016 to 2019, we’re continuing to support the Village Enterprise graduation programme in Uganda. It targets the poorest communities and in particular those individuals – mostly women – who live on under $1.90 a day, have no prior business experience and are unable to provide for their family’s basic needs.
The programme will provide 2,700 new participants with a combination of cash transfers ($150), business and financial literacy training, ongoing mentoring by a local business mentor and support for the formation of savings groups which will enable members to pool savings and access loans, serving as a safety net and support group.
The 2,700 ultra-poor people (75% of them women) enrolled in the graduation programme are able to develop 900 sustainable livelihoods, resulting in verifiable increases in consumption, assets and income, as well as improvements in nutrition and subjective well-being.
The income generated by the 900 new microenterprises formed is expected to indirectly benefit 18,000 individuals, addressing critical family needs.
The Village Enterprise programme has been recognized as evidence-based and cost-effective by multiple industry leaders, including Impact Matters, Innovations for Poverty Action, The Life You Can Save and Founders’ Pledge.
To date, Village Enterprise has contributed to the creation of over 48,000 businesses, trained more than 185,000 individuals, and positively changed over 1,000,000 lives in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and the DRC.