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Women Co-operators in Kasese District Empowered Through Social Enterprise Training


In Kasese district, 85 women co-operators under the Mt. Rwenzori Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (MRCFCU) recently concluded a two-day social enterprise training, a recommendation stemming from a socio-economic needs assessment conducted at the project's outset. Led by Action for Development (ACFODE), this initiative aimed to enhance women's capacity for profit-making and addressing social issues.

The Mt.Rwenzori Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union(MRCFCU), a registered farmers' organization operating across seven districts around Mt. Rwenzori, partnered with ACFODE to implement the project. Funded by Women Strong International, the one-year project titled "Increasing Economic Security and Opportunity for Women in Cooperatives in Kasese District" seeks to elevate women's incomes and asset ownership by 2024.

 Through this initiative, ACFODE has equipped 90 women with the skills to engage in innovative, profitable social enterprises while fostering positive attitudes towards women's empowerment in the community.

The social enterprise training, spanning two days for each group of 40-45 women, employed participatory methodologies facilitated by ACFODE's team. Sessions included open discussions, group work, and presentations aiming at diversifying income sources for women beyond coffee businesses. Participants expressed their expectations, ranging from learning about animal husbandry to managing enterprises effectively.

Topics covered during the training included understanding social enterprise models and forming viable enterprises. Through group work, participants identified social problems in their communities, such as lack of water and inadequate healthcare, limited sources of income, and poor business management skills.

These various social issues that were proposed, encouraged the women to identify, the potential benefits to the community when they are addressed. From improving standards of living to enhancing access to essential services, the envisioned social enterprises aimed to address pressing needs while generating income for women co-operators.

The facilitator guided discussions on the principles of social entrepreneurship, emphasizing the importance of understanding social problems and leveraging opportunities for economic gain. Participants actively engaged in brainstorming sessions, demonstrating their commitment to leveraging business for social impact.

With action plans developed and social enterprise groups formed, the training concluded on a hopeful note, with participants equipped with the knowledge and motivation to embark on their entrepreneurial journeys.

ACFODE's ongoing support ensures that these women co-operators continue to thrive as they contribute to economic growth and social development in Kasese district and Uganda at large