Economic Empowerment – women’s self-help groups (South Africa)
Hopes and Dreams Inc. is dedicated to delivering self-sustaining, poverty breaking solutions through micro enterprise and water development projects in remote and rural parts of Africa and India.
Hopes and Dreams focus on two key areas:
- bringing clean and safe water to communities, and
- assisting the poor by providing Economic Empowerment opportunities via micro-economic loans.
All solutions are self-sustaining and to date Hopes and Dreams have successfully implemented 315 projects (5 in Zambia, 287 in South Africa and 23 in India) and have impacted over 45,000 lives.
Hopes and Dreams applied for a $2,000 UCF small grant to facilitate micro loans to entrepreneurial women to create 13 Self Help Trust Groups (5 women per group). The average cost to facilitate a loan is $30 per person.
This grant will allow for adequate selection, training, follow up and management of loans for 66 women. The funds would allow start-up capital to be distributed to women who have sustainable and sound small business ideas so that they can run their own small business. These businesses are self-sustainable from day 1.
Some of the business enterprises involved are – small roadside grocery outlets / Home based direct food supply / Old clothes, new clothes / Making quilts, curtains, cushions / Selling chickens / Selling cell phone airtime / Making bricks / Shelling nuts for market / Renting chairs / Sewing / Knitting / Selling cool drinks, ice blocks / Direct-to-home frozen meat supply / Tuck Shops at school.
This will produce work, enabling them to:
- generate a constant income;
- provide for the needs of their household (eg. food, clothing, schooling, healthcare);
- establish savings;
- bring hope and a better quality of life to the entire family.
The UCF Board was pleased to approve this small grant of $2,000 for the impact it will have.