Macedonian Microfinance

Microfinance group of women talking to Pastor Alfred in front of someone's house. Macedonian Microfinance (MM) provides ‘loan capital’ for groups of women (although not exclusively women) in Masese to establish, expand and develop their businesses and enable them to save. This capital was provided in 2010 by Gateway Global Outreach, an American mission organisation.

MM offers ‘loan capital’ at a lower and affordable interest level compared to microfinance banks on Jinja high street, and also doesn’t demand a property lease as guarantee.

One such group is based in the ‘Police Quarter of Walukuba East’. This group of women includes businesses such as, rug making, the sale of eggs, and the sale of poultry.

Another example of a microfinance group is in the Karamojong area of Masese. The Karamojong are an ethnic group from the North East of Uganda who are displaced due to harsh desert conditions and fighting in the area. Their culture of hard work, discipline and tight community is lending itself to a very successful microfinance group. The group consists of 24 people, comprising of businesses which are mainly street hawking and selling pots and pans.

Each group gets a loan which is shared out to people in the group who need it, three or four at a time, those individuals pay back the loan with a little interest as well as contributing to the running of the group and saving in the group’s general pot.

Below is only one story of how Macedonian Microfinance is helping:

Ruth

Microfinance_3Ruth has a fruit stand that faces the street.  Ruth has been in business for about 12 years selling her fruits and vegetables.  Through Maceodnian Microfinance ‘loan capital’, she was able to expand her business into selling large bags of charcoal that are used for cooking.  A full bag of charcoal is about six feet in height and over two feet in diameter.  When Ruth received her first microfinance loan of 50,000 UGS (approx. £12.50), she was able to buy a half a bag of charcoal.  She quickly resold it at a profit of about £1.30.

Once she paid back the first loan, she received another loan for 100,000 UGS (£25).  From this, she was able to buy a whole bag of charcoal for 90,000 UGS, which she cut in two, and sold each of them for 50,000 UGS, (£2.50).  From there, she received a loan of 200,000 UGS and continued from there.  With the additional money she is making from the sale of the charcoal, she is now able to send all of her children to school.