This February we are partnering with Deki, a charity that empowers people living in poverty to change the course of their lives by providing access to ethical microloans and training.

We’ve been supporting Deki since 2013. Our first ever loan was for £90 to Daouda Oseni in Lome, Togo, who wished to increase his shoe stock in his shop in order to better support his family. From that first step into the world of micro-finance we have gone on to donate £51K to Deki for small business loans.

The wonderful thing about the Deki system is that every time a loan is repaid it is lent to a new entrepreneur so our original donation keeps doing good! Our £51K has been repaid and recycled to make an incredible £178,000 worth of loans to 1,164 different entrepreneurs in seven countries. Studies have found that each loan will affect the lives of five more people so this equates to changing 6,984 lives for the better.

The impact of our loans are becoming so great that this is no longer a story of individual lives changed, but one of changing entire communities in remote and marginalised parts of Africa for the better.

One such success story is Deki’s work with New Home for Community Rehabilitation, an organisation in Kasese, western Uganda. New Home are a small not for profit co-operative microcredit organisation, that supports the most impoverished people in a small and very remote mining town. The town grew up around the local copper mining industry but the copper has now been severely depleted. As a result, the people of Kasese suffer from very high levels of deprivation which disproportionally affects the most vulnerable people.

New Home specifically focuses its work on those who have limited opportunities. They started making loans and offering training to entrepreneurs through the creation of a very small loan fund, built up with donations from board members and local supporters. These loans helped people to build businesses and livelihoods in areas such as trading, agriculture, animal husbandry and fish farming, as well as skilled trades for young men such as brick-laying. It was quickly demonstrated that even the smallest of loans could have a significant impact, however, they could not meet the demand. In April 2017 Deki offered their support and the partnership flourished.

Deki has now funded 409 Entrepreneurs in Western Uganda, impacting 2,436 lives. Around 50 of these businesses have funded by Be One Percent and this will continue to increase every month. As a result, families in this impoverished area are now able to send their children to school, provide more than one meal a day and employ members of the community as their enterprise grows.

Our February donation will be used to make around 30 loans. As the money gets repaid this number will increase and soon more and more communities will be benefiting from our 1%.