Dining for Women is a non-profit giving circle dedicated to empowering women and girls living in extreme poverty. Dining for Women chapter members come together once a month to “dine in,” donating their “dining out” dollars (what would have been spent had they eaten at a restaurant), to carefully selected international programs which empower women worldwide. To read more, go to www.diningforwomen.org.
Village Enterprise is honored to announce that Dining for Women has awarded a 3-year grant for our program Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Near the Budongo Forest of Uganda, DFW’s fourth year of funding Village Enterprise. Village Enterprise was chosen among a very competitive field in 2006, 2007, and 2011. This new Sustained Program Funding award provides 3 years of funding for our program in Uganda; DFW will help us to equip rural, ultra-poor women living around the Budongo Forest of Uganda with the means to create sustainable businesses. Through business, financial, and conservation education, conditional seed-capital, mentoring, and savings, we will equip women-led business groups with the tools and knowledge to increase their incomes and their standard of living. To read more about the five programs DFW is funding, go to http://www.diningforwomen.org/inthenews.
Over two-thirds of Village Enterprise business owners are women. They live far from formal banking services and are often illiterate. Women entrepreneurs’ participating in our program report an increase in their sense of personal empowerment, as measured by indicators such as equity and decision-making within the household. And 75% of our microenteprises are still in operation after four years.
To date, Village Enterprise has started nearly 1,000 conservation-friendly small businesses near the Budongo Forest of Uganda—and we have expanded the program to the Kisere Forest region of Kenya. By coupling our business training program with conservation training, business owners are able to start sustainable businesses that do not negatively impact the forest. To read more click here.