Women Start Ups
Being a mother is challenging. Being a single mother is more than that. Especially when you are living in a rual area in Uganda.
Most of the women who are raising their children alone, being single mothers or widows, are coming from marginalized backgrounds and therefore face a lot of challenges in their daily life’s.
Often neglected and abandoned by their families and communities they totally depend on themselves. They lack not only the money to send their children to school but also the money for basic needs like rent and clothing. It even goes so far that they can’t afford medication when needed and feeding their families is a daily struggle.
In rural areas chances to get a job are low. So in order to improve on their situation they have to create their own opportunities. Starting a business on their own often is no option due to the lack of finances to start with income generating activities in order to sustain themselves. Often they don’t meet the criteria to receive a loan from banks. And most of this woman lack knowledge of business.
Our MISSION is the Creation of well sustained women start-ups.
Interested marginalized women are forming groups of 5 to 15 people. Working in groups has many advantages. Everybody can bring in their personal knowledge of different areas and they can complete each other. Also by brainstorming in a group helps them to come up with innovative ideas and to find solutions for problems. They are able to divide the work according to talents and personal interests and come up with schedules allowing them to have time for the project as well as for their children. Also working with a group is more fun and members can support and motivate each other. It also allows the women to start on a bigger scale.
Each group has their members who have to define clear roles and accountabilities and within this process elect a treasurer and a chairman.
But first the women undertake a mentoring and coaching program facilitated by Gejja where they source for ideas and what they can do best. They are learning the required business skills and come up with a budget.
At this point Gejja is supporting the group by providing money to start their business worth up to 1 Million UGX.
And even afterwards Gejja is always available for support and to help in emergency’s.
Part of the Gejja Woman Startup Program is also to support and include the children of the single mothers and widows. During holidays they come in for different activities such as bookmaking. Helping them to meet the requirements when starting the next term and going back to school with their selfemade books.
The families of the women are also supported through the saving scheme (table banking) whereby they save and later borrow money from the scheme, in case of emergency’s, be it personal or in their business.
The money Gejja gives the women groups for their start-ups is later brought back (without any interest) so it can be given to other new groups of women.
At the moment we are working with a group who is making crafts out of bananafibre, different threads and polythen bags. Soon two faming groups (one for chicken and one for pigs) are going to receive the money to start their businesses since they have successfully completed their budgets. Other groups are still in the process of finding their business idea. Gejja has reached out with this program so far to over 70 women and has given them the tools to improve their lifes.
The VISION of Gejja Women Foundation is to have a world where women are economically empowered and able to sustain their families and stand up for their own rights.