26. August 2014

Turning poor women into entrepreneurs

A great many people in Uganda, as in the rest of Africa, never get the chance of a better life. By giving poverty-stricken Ugandan women small loans in the shape of a pig, Chime is providing them with an opportunity to help themselves become economically independent.

Chime is a Norwegian society established by Jennfrid Stellberg in 2009. After a cautious start-up with the provision of pigs to 20 women, it has so far helped 700 female entrepreneurs in poor villages.

The project has led to a marked improvement in prosperity and living standard, which means that a growing number of children – particularly girls – can afford to go to school.

Recipients organise themselves in groups of four-six women and are given lent a pig as a form of microloan. Each group is jointly responsible for their animal, and receives detailed education in looking after it.

The women must build their own sties and pay back two pigs for each one borrowed. Economist Arthur Musasizi and veterinarian Hamid Kaiza are local managers for the project in Uganda.

At grassroots level, women have a great desire and strong will to improve living conditions for themselves and their families. When given the chance, they have shown that they can make significant changes to their local communities in a short time.

Through the pig project, Chime and the Kavli Trust want to support more entrepreneurs. The goal is to lift women out of extreme poverty and help put them on the road to economic independence.

The Kavli Trust believes that help for self-help is important. This represents a good investment in a common future, and is crucial for economic progress in poor countries.

Learn more about Chime (in Norwegian only) at www.chime.no