We envision a Congo where vulnerable populations can actively and sustainably participate in the local economy.
Neema [neh-AY-mah] Congo, Swahili for “grace,” strives to accelerate the growth of small businesses by providing resources & expertise with a focus on vulnerable populations who lack formal employment or have a high dependency ratio. Neema offers opportunities to these populations to apply and receive grants to start or expand their business.
Why Neema grants?
Neema strives to offer opportunities to all applicants, no matter their background and reduce the administrative, technical and educational barriers that prevent people from accessing micro-finance services in the region. Neema organizes free one and one coaching designed to provide all prospective applicants with information on the application process and how to complete their application forms.
Neema mentoring aims to establish a trusting relationship with successful microloan applicants that will allow critical evaluation of fund usage with a focus on learning. The mentoring involves face-to-face sessions for 1 to 2 hours per week focusing on market knowledge, marketing strategy, profit shares, and accounting, in a supportive and encouraging context.
Neema partners with individuals or organizations to provide interactive 3-day business training to vulnerable populations on business ideas generation, market understanding, customer discovering, record keeping, networking, money plan and revenue management. The 3-day business training is offered for free or low cost depending on resource availability.
Since 2016, Neema has impacted 153 beneficiaries, including 38 women now trained in basic business skills, and enabled five families to send their children to school through a pig and goat breeding project.
Below are just a few examples of how UCBC alumni and students are directly impacting lives through Neema Congo.
The Neema Congo Partners Group (PG)
Neema Congo Partners Group serves as a critical community to champion the work of Neema Congo. Members of the Partner Group share their gifts in service to our mission by providing professional expertise; their diverse knowledge of constituent perspectives; their connections to national, regional or international resources, colleagues or peers; their philanthropic support or other forms of needed assistance.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a member, please contact Butoto Mahinduzi.