Launched in July 2015, the Missing Link microfinance project takes place in a small rural area of Mityana district, Uganda, and provides local residents with the financial opportunity to realise their dreams.
Located in a rural farming community on the edge of a tea plantation, the main sources of employment / income are from farming, plantation work, cattle owning and small businesses to support the community, for example, tiny shops, teachers and bicycle taxis.
Loans are given out to individuals after an assessment visit by the local project officer, and each individual has to be part of a small group – usually 4 or 5 people – who act as guarantors on the repayments, as well as deciding between them in what order group members will be put forward for a loan.
Repayments are made at interest, to help raise further funds to increase the reach of the scheme. The interest rate is well below that charged by local banks, and so makes the scheme appealing and accessible to all.
Loans are being used for a number of things, in particular developing new farming opportunities, expanding small businesses and covering the upfront lump sum required for school fees.