The BCDC’s microcredit program is centered around the idea of helping people help themselves, the proverbial gifting of the fishing pole in lieu of fish. In this respect, the BCDC’s microcredit program helps provide loans for investment capital for primarily agricultural production and shops. The BCDC’s microcredit program is based on the Nobel prize winning Grameen Bank, where individuals form groups and an individual’s loan is conditional on the repayment of their fellow group members. This group structure enables individuals to leverage their groups in lieu of collateral in the traditional banking sense to have their loans securitized. Additionally, the BCDC also focuses on women, with over 71 percent of its active borrowers being women, in recognition of their roles as mothers, managing home affairs, and breadwinners.
The BCDC loan portfolio and average loan size significantly increased in 2018. In Ugandan shillings (UGX), the outstanding loan portfolio increased 5.2 percent to 324.5 million (2.9 percent in USD with inflation and $87,344, respectively). The BCDC also provided 1,729 loans valued at $242,533 (UGX 904.2 million), with the average outstanding loan increasing 12 percent in UGX or 9.5 percent in USD and valued at $103.73. The value of loans received increased 1.9 percent to UGX 999.3 million (or in USD -.3 percent and $268,079). Given the economic challenges, the number of loans in arrears increased from 35 to 52.
The BCDC’s microcredit program continued to grow in early 2019. As of January 2019, the BCDC has 912 microcredit borrowers in almost 30 villages. Of these borrowers, 869 currently have a loan, of which 620 are women. In January 2019, the microcredit program disbursed $21,269 worth of loans to 144 borrowers, bringing the outstanding loan portfolio $89,307 with the average loan at $103.
While the impact of the microcredit program can be seen in growing businesses and farms, the construction of new homes, and parents more easily affording healthcare and education, among others, the nature of the impact is best left to the borrowers themselves.
KISAKYE JULIET from Kiryabicooli
Juliet started by investing her first loan in sale of silver fish, tomatoes and onions at her home and during BCDC loan meetings. Her business expanded and she even started moving to nearby trading markets. From her current loan, she has been able to start selling second hand clothes in markets. From the profits she has bought one and half acres of land within Kiryabicooli and she is able to supply tomatoes and onions to nearby retail sellers. She has three (3) young children and the old one is studding from DAA primary school.
SEMBAYA FRANK from Igunda
He joined BCDC IN 2016. He invested his first loan in piglets. Later when the pigs grew up He sold the pigs and opened up a small Motorcycle garage. He worked hard to expand his business by reinvesting his loans in the business. His business has now expanded and He has also started training school dropout’s skills of repairing motorcycles and how to maintain them at a very low fee compared to those who go to institutions. He has a couple of them who completed the training from his Garage and he has managed to employ them. He has opened up a hair dressing saloon which is operated by the wife, He also bought two plots of land which he plans to build in future.
JUUKO RAFAIRI from Nsonga
He joined BCDC in 2014. He opened up a motorcycle and bicycle spare part shop in kasalaba. Out of the profits he build one rental room. When his loan size increased together with the profits from the shop He decided to buy a welding machine. He operated the two businesses and out of the profits he has been able to put up 20 rooms for rent, his businesses has expanded and has bought several plots of land.
NABASANA BETTY from Buseesa
Betty operates a retail shop in Kasalaba. She is on her 14th loan. BCDC loans have been able to increase stock in her business. Out of the profits, she started piggery, poultry and investing in agriculture. The loans increments have changed her life in a way that she can now buy home utensils and take her children to better schools and pay school fees for them without first begging from the husband.
The BCDC’s microcredit program aims to continue positively impacting borrowers lives and improve its operations under its new Microcredit Manager, Tusabe Tadeo. Tusabe started as the Community Development Manager in 2013 helping managing the microcredit program’s finances, manage loan meetings, and the program’s finances. In Summer 2018, Tusabe was promoted to Microcredit Manager.