Microfinance is the heart of BRAC's integrated approach to alleviating poverty and helping poor Ugandan women realise their potential. They gather weekly in villages, towns and city neighbourhoods to make repayments on their loans and apply for new ones.
BRAC lends to women who are not served by other microfinance institutions. Borrowers typically operate businesses that provide products or services to their local communities. Women with seasonal businesses, such as farming related activities, may also be eligible for shorter term loans. We use the microfinance groups as a social platform to deliver scaled up services in health, education, business development and livelihood support, all critical components needed to ensure that poor people are given the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty.
BRAC offers small enterprise loans to entrepreneurs seeking to expand small businesses. Our small enterprise programme (SEP) is supported by the main microfinance platform, which is managed through a hub and spoke model. The loans enable owners to create new employment opportunities and provide new services. Typically loans are given for trading, agriculture, poultry and livestock, fruit production and other types of small enterprises. The small enterprise loan is offered to an individual rather than to a group and is available for both male and female entrepreneurs. Some members of the microloan groups will become eligible for this scheme as their businesses expand and require more investment.