Uganda, Africa

UGA07b - EM Fund Uganda : Partnership Reports

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Report Date: August 27, 2021

Report from BHW Partnership Facilitator

Recent Events


The last report done here was in 2018. Prior to that report, the initial attempts to establish loans were unsuccessful. People did not understand or respect the programme. As reported, there was not adequate sensitization and explanation. Those funds were not wasted entirely and people are still benefitting from the finances they received, however, those funds are lost to the EmFund. These events were a great learning time for the team.  

income generationIn 2019 more funds were put into the programme and by November 2019 there was just over US$12,000 in the fund, most of it loaned out. The funds were loaned to two different groups, some with personal businesses and enterprises, and some to people to apply the Foundations for Farming training they had received. Those with small business loans were to pay back regularly and those with agriculture loans were to pay back at harvest. 

By January 2020 interest was being repaid on a regular basis. Then came COVID. No loans have been given and no interest was incoming from April 2020 until July 2021 but some businesses have just now begun to pick up operating again. COVID has been a major issue for everyone as they have had to cease trading and focus on family survival. Those with agriculture production and food sales have been least affected. Those selling charcoal and mobile airtime have also been able to continue trading at a low level and they have all been making small repayments. 

People in the community have little money to use and most have used up any savings they had so they are struggling to survive and it will take a long time for them to recover. 

Some of those with loans have repaid their first loan and now taken a second loan. Others are still on their first loan. Because of COVID, a third round of lending that was about to commence but they didn't do it. 


Personal Stories

Here is a list of those who have received loans and what they are doing:

good business1) A group received a loan for Foundations for Farming. They are doing a seasonal crop and also vegetables. 

2) John Francis is making bricks for sale. His business was going really well prior to the lockdown and he has made good repayments of his loan. He has just obtained a contract to supply all his bricks to Compassion International at one of their centres. He has about 36,000 bricks which is likely to bring in around UGX8 million and he has promised to pay off the loan of 3 million (US$850) at once  in the next two weeks (early September 2021).

3) Benjamin Twinomunji is buying and selling timber. 

4) Amos Katabuika has a sewing business and took out a loan to grow his business. Just as he was doing this his wife died. He is a refugee from the DR Congo and he had to go back there for a period of time. 

5) Gilbert Ankunda is involved in a boda boda business, transporting people on a motorike. 

good business6) Innocent Mbabazi has a charcoal business. He buys it in rural areas and brings it to urban areas to sell.

7) Moren Kemigisha has a kiosk at which she sells airtime, data and sim cards. 

8) Patrick Owoluganda sells shoes. He does it in a market and also on the street. 

9) Meius Tigahwayo buys and sells eggs. He has some regular customers and goes to a market as well. 

10) Keneth Kamusiime produces and sells grains and also trades them. He buys from wholesalers and sells to the public and shops. 


Ideas for the Future

opportunity to expandRealistically regular repayments and further loans are unlikely to recommence until early in 2022. 

Recently an opportunity has come up to put a hulling machine into an existing small grinding mill operation. It is expected that this will generate good returns and boost the income of the fund. The existing funds not yet loaned out will be used to set this up.

There are several pending applications but they are all on hold for the time being. 


Current Issues and Challenges

charcoalThe impact of COVID is the major challenge. If it was not for the virus there would have been few issues to deal with as people are really undestanding it well and getting good benefit from the programme. 

There is only one bad debt and they are seeking to work with those people to get at least some of it back.  


Prayer and Praise Points

1) That vaccinations will soon become available
2) That the businesses that have loans will recover
3) That members will recover soon and be able to operate again. 



We have begun working with the leaders as they begin to think about rebooting the programme early next year. We are also looking at the opportunity to develop the hulling machine and milling business. This is already operating at a smaller level and the BHW Executive has agreed to fund a second machine.