Savings and Credit Scheme
Over 80% of the registered farmers keenly save and run a family business. They were trained in management of savings and loans, record keeping and leadership. They are well empowered with knowledge, skills and confidence to explore small scale business opportunities in their communities and manage the business well. This is increasing their savings, equipping them with more skills and enabling them to assess whether their business is making profits or losses.
Families—where wife and husband plan and budget together—are able to leverage businesses that survive beyond the vision bearer. All SOWI beneficiaries in their groups have gone to the next level of financial management. They have bank accounts and apply modern practices in financial and credit management.
All the groups in Amwoma, Atur and Adagwoo parishes do both compulsory and voluntary saving. The new community has been trained on the importance of savings and running a family business. They have started saving very well but are yet to begin giving their big loans.
Very poor households take small loans from the savings and use it to increase capacity to manage their financial resources and withstand shocks to their livelihoods.
Our three basic financial services include:
SOWI's unique training helps members to define VSLA purpose, set terms for savings and loans, fix interest rates, repayment schedules and penalties for late payments. The groups learn how to raise their savings and make money for loans, record transactions, and run their weekly savings.
Recordkeeping techniques they are taught are suitable for literate or illiterate people. Each member has a pass book; for recording their compulsory and voluntary savings and loans.
Groups fix their own rates for compulsory saving, starting from 1,000 ugx and above. Members then borrow to start or expand their businesses. The savings is used as a revolving fund or loan within each group.
60% of their compulsory savings are divided to members at the end of every financial year. Households save voluntarily to meet various needs such as serving saucepans, plates, mattresses, building materials and school fees.
Keeping records is an investment of time and money. The benefits must outweigh the costs. Accurate information is essential, so leaders who record the savings in the passbook and ledger should know their values and reasons for the recording method.
Managing Savings and Loans
All groups are saving and managing their records well. But their savings have dropped due to a drop in prices of farm produce—which fall because of prolonged dry spell and the need for most farmers to save entirely from sale of their farm produce. However this is improving because they have formed a cooperative society through which they will sell their produce, especially groundnuts, soya beans and small scale business. Most households used their voluntary savings to pay for membership and buy shares in the cooperative society. Savings also go into school fees.
Small Scale Business
With over 60% of the households having required skills on how to identify business opportunities, simple profit calculation and as well establishing and managing their scale businesses, over 60% of the households are engage in to various businesses which have seen them support their family such as paying school fees, buying household utensils and improved standard of living than before.