In 2017 Charlotte heard about Ride For a Woman and the microfinance scheme from friends in the Buhoma community. She had the idea of expanding her boutique and came to the Ride for a Woman office to find out more and have the scheme explained to her by the scheme’s administrator (and Financial Officer) Isaac Arineitwe.
Charlotte submitted an application for a loan including in it 2 close friends as guarantors, which was reviewed firstly by Isaac and then submitted to the organisation’s Executive committee of five women (chosen by the rest of the R4W community) for debate. After this it was submitted to the organisation’s founders Eve and Dennis Habasa for the final go-ahead.
The loan of 2,340.000 Ugandan Shillings (£450 or $633) was approved and so Charlotte was able to expand her stock of clothes, taking regular trips to Kampala to her suppliers and replenishing the boutique with great new items of clothing. She has also been able to explore new lines such as hand made jewelry, including stunning necklaces created from recycled paper, painted and varnished.
The boutique is flourishing and with it Charlotte’s reputation both in the local community and with growing numbers of tourists. Demand is increasing and the supply of such items is still low in the area so it bodes well for the future of the boutique.
Charlotte’s goal is to expand the shop further, invest in more stock and space and drive up her income.
Increased profits have enabled Charlotte to cover the cost of food and clothes for her family and cover the cost of the house rent. She has also been able to fund her son’s schooling – not easy at 2 million shillings per semester.
A great success and all down to the support of R4W’s microfinance scheme. Charlotte commented:
“It’s a wonderful organization and the scheme is really helping local women. I was able to explain my situation and my goals and they were positive about supporting me. My loan has been paid back in full, with interest and my business is doing well so it has worked out well so far. I feel extremely thankful and positive about my future. R4W are making a big difference to women in the community here – truly helping us to help ourselves.”