After seven months of operating, the Hoima office was buzzing with excitement. Last week, fifteen local organizations came together to learn about Village Enterprise. The meeting was planned to introduce Village Enterprise to the region and allow all of the nonprofits to network. Such a gathering also served a strategic purpose, as organizations working near one another discussed ways to collaborate and avoid the duplication of services. All attendees benefitted from the conversation about how to maximize efficiency and impact in the Hoima region.
The nonprofits that attended ranged in missions from agriculture and beekeeping to conservation and community. Attendees included:
- Malaika Honey
- Albertine Region Community Empowerment Organization (ARCEO)
- Hoima District NGO forum
- Abakabalega Farmers and Environmental Protectors Association (AFEPA)
- Mid-Western Region Anti-Corruption Coalition (MIRAC)
- Young Environment Trainee (YET)
- Think Humanity Uganda
- Uganda Rural Agriculture and Environmental Management
- Environmental Conservation Trust of Uganda (ECOTRUST)
- Hoima Environmental Project (HEP)
- National Association of Professional Environmentalists
- African Institute For Energy and Governance
- Eco Agric Uganda
- Navigators of Development Association (NAVODA)
- Eco Agriculture Uganda
To introduce Village Enterprise, the Hoima office staff put together a comprehensive presentation that outlined our vision, mission, strategy, implementation tools, and programs. We explained our four-pronged approach model of grant disbursement, business training, year-long mentoring services, and business savings groups. Next we shared our Microenterprise Development Tool, which presents business owners with statistics about risk, demand, and specific crops so they can make informed decisions before entering into a market. For more information you can read here.
Then we introduced our Monitoring & Evaluation plan, which is a five-year impact assessment for the effectiveness of our programs. Finally, we presented our Budongo Project and partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute to protect the Budongo Forest and its chimpanzees. We explained that this has been achieved through the creation of 910 sustainable businesses so far that do not rely on illegal activities that take resources out of the forest. Also conservation training is incorporated into the business owners’ curriculum to further emphasize the importance of sustainable business practices. Read more about the Budongo Project here. The audience was engaged in the presentation and asked thoughtful questions to ensure that they fully understood the Village Enterprise program.
Ultimately, this meeting was a great success and achieved all of its goals. It was a very effective way to share the work that Village Enterprise is doing in the region, but also a useful opportunity for other nonprofits operating in the region to form relationships with one another.
Program Associate, Uganda