There is growing emphasis in the policy debate on rural women’s entrepreneurship as a poverty alleviation strategy and a preferred tactic to spur economic development. To this end, this synthesis report puts into perspective the nature of Uganda’s rural woman entrepreneurs, paying close attention to the women targeted by the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP). This report focuses on rural women’s entrepreneurship. However, challenges identified may not be limited to this category alone but also extend to the poorest urban entrepreneurs with similar characteristics. Using qualitative and quantitative data from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBoS), findings indicate that: Most rural women are illiterate (about 75 percent) and run informal non-farm enterprises that are micro and seasonal in nature. Accessing finance through local groups such as Rotating Savings and Credit Associations was most common for rural women in business. Thus, training materials particularly the financial component, mentoring and an early warning system for these entrepreneurs should be established together with effective management and leadership of these groups. For growth to occur, it is important for groups to take bigger loans as an indication of business expansion and growth. The government needs to resume adult literacy programmes within the UWEP.


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