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The Heart of Our Work: Opportunity International Clients

By Kelli Walker

Mukyala Janat Wabika Justine is a farmer based in Buyala Jinja district, Uganda. She is 37 years old; she and her husband have five children.

Janat had the desire and will to grow her harvest; she needed to learn best agricultural practices and have access to financial resources.

In 2019, she participated in local agricultural training, learning better farming methods. She ventured into horticulture, growing cabbages and nakati (also known as bitter tomato, Ethiopian eggplant, garden eggs, or pumpkin-on-a-stick). Janat now has four employees, all women.

To address her financial challenges, she started by borrowing loans from a savings and credit cooperative organization (SACCO), but the interest rates were too high. A few months ago, Janat joined Opportunity International on the advice of bank staff who brought to her attention Opportunity’s partner’s low interest loans. She first participated in loan orientation training, where she learned financial literacy and business management. She then received her first loan of UGX 800,000 (US$204) which she used to boost her horticultural business and her four female employees.

Her dream is to continue collaborating with Opportunity Bank Uganda Limited on future loans to build on her progress. Stability and growth in her business allow Janat to be self-reliant, improve her living standards and guarantee food security for her family.

The African Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative (TAWEEI) addresses systemic economic barriers for women entrepreneurs. Helping women overcome these challenges is vital not only to ending poverty, but for driving economic growth worldwide. The overarching goal is to help scale women-owned/women-run micro, small and medium sized enterprises (W-MSMEs) increase incomes, create and sustain jobs, and stimulate inclusive economic growth on the continent of Africa through access to capital. To date, TAWEEI has raised almost $72,000 to enable Ugandan women entrepreneurs secure loans and build their businesses with strong financial literacy and competitive management practices.

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