Women’s Economic Empowerment Outcomes of Savings and Credit Cooperative Society and Community - Based Savings Group Members Project for Financial Inclusion in Rural Areas (PROFIRA)
Financial inclusion, including access to credit, is one of the key pillars of the Government of Uganda’s efforts to eradicate poverty, yet a large proportion of the rural population in Uganda has little or no access to financial services. Women in particular face significant barriers to accessing credit, limiting their ability to achieve economic empowerment.
Evidence suggests that savings groups, such as Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) and community-based savings and credit groups (CSCGs), can have positive impacts on economic outcomes and women’s economic empowerment in Uganda. SACCOs and CSCGs are both voluntary associations through which members regularly pool their savings and subsequently, obtain loans which they use for various purposes. CSCGs in Uganda generally include 25-30 members, 70% of who must be women. SACCOs operate like cooperative societies
with a statutory minimum of 30 members, but more members are recommended. SACCOs require registration with the “Registrar of Cooperatives” whereas CSCGs are more informal in nature. SACCO members must have paid at the time of registration.