Venture: Farmer Evolve (Uganda)
Founder: Brenda Nakanwagi
Farmer Evolve is an initiative that has set out to alleviate poverty among smallholder farmers and promote food security. They are doing this through Agricultural Training and Financing. They train farmers’ better farming methods, after which we enable those who can’t afford to implement these best practices to access credit for quality farm inputs.
According to Brenda, the sessions on Impact Toolbox opened her mind to institutional sustainability. “Before the sessions, we connected our farmers to Microfinance institutions which gave around 15% of our farmers’ loans. The majority were left out due to a lack of collateral. After the sessions, we have created a strategic plan to avail credit to the left behind farmers who can’t meet the requirements of Microfinance institutions. In this way, the initiative will continue supporting farmers sustainably.”
When asked what she enjoyed the most about Impact Toolbox, Brenda said, “I like the self-paced learning which cultivates self-drive in learners. I like the practical assignments given after every lesson, and these enable one to understand the content more as they challenge you to think past the lesson and incorporate what you have learned in your venture practically.” Here is a quote from Brenda that summarizes some of her most essential lessons from Impact Toolbox. “Fundraising is Friend raising; you will not sustainably raise more than the value of your network. With this, I learned to invest more in strategic Networking. When you think of something, do it quickly as there will never be such a time as “right time” because you are not the custodian of that idea, and many more are thinking about what you’re thinking. This taught me to act quickly, and leveraging social media and building your online presence is paramount as people are always looking for information, and you can be that source where they get it. Many more funders/prospective partners will look out for social media to gauge credibility so “show off your work” it’s okay.”