In December 2016, the French Embassy in Uganda went round the country side (particularly the north eastern, the northern and the north western – West Nile regions) assessing capacities of local organizations in these regions. Those organizations that met their minimum required capacity were invited to submit concepts for the Embassy’s Social Development Fund that supports impactful community resilient strengthening and building projects. The Village Egg Bank in Egg Currency project under Nested Savings Uganda was invited to submit a concept.

Realising that our current beneficiaries have some savings with us (the organization) from the Village Egg Bank in Egg Currency project and each of them have very entrepreneurial plans of what they would invest their savings in if the amounts reached certain thresholds (from project impact assessment), this call presented an opportunity to give these latent entrepreneurs a chance to try their potential. We put up a proposal titled “The Village Egg Bank: Alternative Livelihood and Financial Inclusion (ALFI) for Vulnerable Groups in Yumbe District”.The purpose of the grant was to provide SEED capital to augment the savings of the VEBEC beneficiaries in order to start a Micro-lending segment to allow beneficiaries with good business ideas to access small soft loans (with very low interest rate) to test their small businesses ideas or grow the existing ones. A bit of the fund was intended to boost the feed formulation unit in buying additional machinery that the support from Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) does not cover and to establish the commercial aspect of the feed unit (by enabling the innovators to invest in capital expenditure for the business aspect of this unit). ”The VEBEC team  emerged one of only two successful applicants in the West Nile region, thanks to a strong and supportive letter by RAN secretariat team to our application” shared Imran. We at Nested Savings remain grateful to RAN for the encouragement and support in all forms as we learn to grow roots that will eventually sustain our independent existence.

By Imran Ejotre

Member of Nested Savings Team