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WMI's Uganda Loan Program Operations

In January of 2008, WMI issued its first 20 loans in Uganda; by January 2018, WMI had issued over 40,000s in East Africa. In just 10 years, WMI has grown from one pilot project loan hub to serving four distinct regions of Uganda plus Kenya and Tanzania as well. Click on each region below to find out how the WMI loan program is successfully helping women in that region lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

Then: WMI's first venue in Uganda was a makeshift tent in Buyobo. Now: Olive Wolimbwa, WMI Local Director, in front of WMI HQ building in Buyobo.
Then: WMI's first venue in Uganda was a makeshift tent in Buyobo. Now: Olive Wolimbwa, WMI Local Director, in front of WMI HQ building in Buyobo.


See how the loan program began in Uganda in 2008 in rural Uganda.

WMI Loan Program - 5 Years Strong

Olive Wolimbwa, WMI's Local Director, created a short video to mark WMI's fifth anniversary of providing loan program service to Uganda.

Olive highlights several key developments that illustrate the loan program's success in bringing about fundamental social and economic changes that reduce poverty across the country:

  • Women in rural Uganda are buying land and building permanent houses;
  • They are opening bank accounts and using ATM cards;
  • Domestic violence has reduced;
  • WMI trainers from Uganda travel across East Africa to pass on business skills to rural women;
  • Loan hubs are helping families rebuild in areas recovering from insurgency fighting;
  • Loan groups are graduating from WMI's 2 year program into independent banking every 90 days

WMI Loan Program Impact Across Uganda

Income Improvements
  • Only 12% of borrowers earned more than $1,000/year when entering the loan program
  • After 6 months, 77% of borrowers earned more than $1,000/year
  • After 24 months, 90% of borrowers surveyed earned more than $1,000/year

Savings Improvements
  • After six months in the loan program, 50% of borrowers save at least $10/ month While 16% saved over $30/month
  • After 18 months in the loan program, 87% of borrowers save at least $10/month While 63% saved over $30/month

Household Improvements: 6-Months Household Improvements: 12-Months
95% of families are healthier 99% find it easier to pay medical costs
92% purchased more uniforms for children 98% eat better meals
73% of borrowers' husbands help with her business 97% eat more meals
70% improved literacy and numeracy skills 85% purchased more mosquito nets
51% purchased more chickens 70% find it easy to repay their loans

Regional Locations

Uganda Loan OperationsWMI serves four main regions in Uganda: Eastern, Northeastern, Northern and Southwestern. Each area has different challenges; but the rural women in these areas have a common bond - they have all been systematically excluded from access to financial services. Click on each area below to learn about the region and WMI's local loan program operations.

Sironko, Kapchorwa and Mbale Districts
Buyobo, in Sironko District, is the headquarters for the WMI loan program in East Africa. WMI's successful transition to independent banking platform was developed here in 2010. The local economy has benefitted enormously from the numerous businesses launched by women with WMI loans.

Bududa and Manafwa Districts
This is WMI's first expansion loan hub location. Mentored by the WMI team from Buyobo, through peer-to-peer knowledge transfer, WMI members in this region have also begun to graduate to independent banking.

Kabale District
Less than 10 miles from the Rwandan border, and a crossroad for travel to nearby D.R.Congo, this area is constantly subject to the upheaval and chaos endured by its neighboring countries. Coupled with an out-reach program that provides porridge for local primary school children, the WMI loan program has given rural women here their only chance to start a business.

Amuru and Gulu Districts
Our loan hubs in northern Uganda are located in areas hard hit by the 20 year insurgency that devastated the region and resulted in over 2.5 million internally displaced persons. WMI is helping families rebuild their lives through women owned and operated small business enterprises.

About UgandaAbout Uganda
A former British colony, Uganda became an independent nation in 1962... read more

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