Micro Business

Micro Loans and Small Business Development

“I am now able to buy salt without first having to ask my husband.”

“I would like to see our children succeed in life, this helps me pay their school fees”

– Ugandan women recipients of a micro loan from Hope 2 One Life

 

Your Donations at Work
Microloans and Small Business Development

Our first micro loan project was implemented with a 50 percent loan and 50 percent gift for drip irrigation lines for gardening in the dry season in 2013. This was especially important for nutrition, but also served as an income generation project for the Women’s Empowerment Group, of Rakayata village in businees and marketing mentorship by Family Empowerment Uganda who rented them the 1 acre land for the drip lines. 

The loan was repaid over 3 years and re invested in ginger crop they started. We continued with more of these types of loans, business trainining and teaching them to do project proposals for their requests/needs. It has been highly successful and they are proud of their successes and ability to pay back their loans. The funds paid back are re invested in their programs and other loans. 

The funds we recieve from the “suggested donation” sales of their handmade treasures and crafts at our events or through wholesale partners helps generate more loans and income generating potential or investment into their businesses and community village programs.

Women’s Tailoring group business training by Nadine Hart
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“They have yearned to have their own shop where they can be independent, empowered and in control of their own earnings and strive to rise out of extreme poverty.” Nadine Hart
 


Hope 2 One Life partners  with Ugandan business people, and aspiring business people, through a variety of microloans.  Many of the loans are provided as 50% loan and 50% gift.  The loans typically are repaid over 3 years.  

Projects underway include:
— clothing/tailoring
— crafts and jewelry
— drip irrigation for vegetable farming
— household solar lights in partnership with Solar Sister
— farming tools and gum boots
— Boer goat breeding
— motorbike purchase for the health teams
— grain grainier machine

The business people are provided with training (such as Farming God’s Way and business trainings by Klint Ostermann, FGW co-director in Uganda) and mentorship as they embark on their business journeys,  with goals of sustainability, better health and nutrition, and a rise out of poverty.  


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Women’s Tailoring Groups
by Susan Hart

 

I have enjoyed sewing and making my patterns most of my life, so it was natural when I made my first H2O trip to Uganda for me to help with the women’s tailoring groups. My sister Nadine asked me to make new patterns and to help teach quality improvement for existing products. I am also a crafter, so Nadine sent me examples of bracelets a previous team had taught and proposed that I work with the Palabek group to help them bring their work to the next level as well. Thus began my start with H2O.

In preparing for my first trip, I designed new patterns for the sewing groups, and acquired supplies to take with me and leave behind for all of the people I was to work with. Upon arrival, Nadine and I chose fabric with Denis and Bosco in Kampala, and off we went!

Color combinations and fabric print preferences are quite different between Americans and Ugandans, so I spent a lot of time working to convey color, bead, and button combinations to the bracelet makers so their end products would be attractive to Americans. There were a lot of “ah ha” moments for all of us as we learned what each other saw as beautiful, based on our cultures. The team, new to making products for others, also learned how important a quality product is to attract buyers. The bracelets they made during our sessions were greatly improved, and impressed us all! 

Grace, Terrence’s wife, graciously let us use space outside her shop in Gulu for training the Palabek team. In working with Grace and the Palabek tailors outside her shop, I discovered that Ugandans have different sewing techniques from Americans. This was an amazing discovery once we all realized it, so in the evenings I quickly converted the patterns I brought to their style.

I worked individually with the Katamarwa tailoring women to review the quality of the products each of them made and to offer suggestions. They were very appreciative, not having realized that quality differences in their work made a difference. It was great to see how easily and quickly they applied what we discussed to more consistently do their best work. Eunice, their star sewer, was especially eager for the new patterns, and her work was beautiful! The Katamarwa team were a lot of fun to work with! We had some fun conversations and lots of laughs as we worked together! I felt a wonderful connection with them as we worked during those days.

Upon return from this trip, I began selling the products to friends, Fair Trade and African stores in Portland, OR, and at the annual African Film Festival in Portland. I looked forward to returning to Uganda in April 2020, to more happy times working with my new friends, bringing new patterns to teach. However that trip was cancelled because of the pandemic.

 

The Faces of Micro-businesses in a Developing Country

Hope 2 One Life teams are thrilled to see genuine grassroots micro-businesses flourishing from small investments made in previously.  We have former refugees and impoverished women and men now making earnings from tailoring, art and crafts, drip irrigation of vegetables and hybrid goat rearing.  The Katamarwa women’s tailoring group have graduated from the tailoring classes on the Family Empowerment (FEM) refugee farm and are now in their own shop, supported by a partial gift and partial micro loan from Hope 2 One Life.  They make everything on treadle sewing machines, and have now started making school uniforms as part of their business.  We also sponsored them in a business training class to provide the skills to sustain and carry on, on their own.  We took the craft-making model to Palabek, a very remote village in northern Uganda, where Brenda Gilmore trained a group of men and women trying their hand at rolling “paper beads” made from glossy magazine paper. Once adequate quality is achieved, the bracelets sell for $10 – $20 in western markets, most of which is returned to the same group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
RAYMOND Carves wood crafts to support his sickle cell children and family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

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The women’s groups receive their drip irrigation kits, sufficient to grow ¼-acre of vegetables. Irrigation is a new concept to most Ugandans but being farmers at heart, they now can grow a crop of tomatoes in the dry season using farming god’s way technique and well water, and command premium prices since they harvest when little else is available.

 

Ladies working togeter

A successful micro – finance project raises a bumper tomatoe crop in it’s first year!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The enthusiasm and success of our Ugandan partners in these projects is palpable. New ideas and proposals are continually being brought to us. After a 2 year lapse of going to Uganda, Angie Osborne observes the positive changes.  One woman’s testimony about the impact of these projects starkly expressed that first step out of abject poverty when she said, “I am now able to buy salt without first having to ask my husband.” I can pay school fees for my children”.  These women have received new self-worth & dignity.  It has been life changing.  I want to thank everyone who buys their crafts & donates to Hope 2 One Life.  You are making a difference!  Many blessings to everyone! 

Angie & Tom  Osborne  


Meet Akello Grace:  

Grace sews our beaded purses, cell phone purses, cosmetic bags, oven mitts and stuffed animals, and she makes most of our bead jewelry.  These are Grace’s own words introducing herself:

“I was born in November 1979 in a village called Ngora, Agago District.  I went to school at Ngora primary in Agago District.  I stopped at primary five after the death of my father because there was no body to pay my school fee.  I lived with my mom and our children: two sisters and three brothers.  I joined tailoring school in 1994.  I got married to Terence Acaye in 2000.  I have 6 children with my husband, Ayella Douglas 15 years he is in S. 1.  Laker Margaret 13 years in P. 7,  Aywek Gloria 11 years in P. 5,  Lamara Emily 9 years in P. 3, Otim Gabriel 6 years in Top class and Agenorwot Jackie 3 years in Baby class.

Life to me means friends and family who you can trust and who trusts you.  I am pretty much on the happy side of life.  I do have some sad days or depressed days but I pray always so that GOD can protect our family.  When I am having a bad day, I have my children to talk to.  I love my husband he is caring and sympathetic.

As I said in the beginning, I was not successful with my education but after our marriage  I started learning handcraft so that I could help our family.  I always struggle not to depend on my husband only.  I would like to see our children succeed in life, although we don’t have enough income but with GOD’s mercy everything is possible.  I am very worried about my child called Otim Gabriel who is a sickler (sickle cell).  I would like everyone to pray for him.  I hope you have enjoyed reading my life story as much as I have enjoyed writing it for you”.  Thanks.  God Bless.

– Grace   

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2015

Light. Hope. Opportunity to an energy poverty region. H20 has developed a partnership with Solar Sister and the women’s empowerment group for a solar household light small business income generating – partially micro financed through the crafts and jewelry sales of the purses and crafts the ladies have made and sold in the U.S.

This energy poverty region relies on kerosene and  candles which are hazardous and inefficient.  Lack of power also affects the safety, health, education and income generation potential of women and girls.

Kampala Village women’s business has paid off their loan!

The Northern Uganda Village Health Team is now doing this same household light project for their income generation sustainability project!

Business enterprise training with Solar Sister 2015

 

 

 

 

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The Northern Uganda Village Health Team is now doing this same household light project for their income generation sustainability project!