Our vision with SOWE Finance is to harness the power of blockchain technology to establish a long-term and efficient distribution of capital to people in need. We will do this by implementing a scalable UBI and Microfinance model where it has the biggest impact. With the decentralized nature of the public blockchains at its core, we aim for our solution to set a precedent for UBI solutions to easily be replicated by other organizations around the world. The primary purpose for this project is the direct positive impact it will have on the community in Mpigi. This community is in desperate need of economic relief and our donations will have positive impact in the fight against prostitution, child marriages, domestic violence, HIV, and related symptoms of extreme poverty.
We started giving UBI in march 2022 when we enrolled 20 teenage girls in our program, 18 of 20 did not own a smartphone and was given one from SOWE before the program started.
The participants in the program keep full control over the money they receive. We encourage that the money is spent on basic needs and in the pursuit of their dreams. Many people in the region live under the poverty line. For some of the girls their UBI will be the difference that keeps their families from going hungry, or give them the ability to pay for school materials and attend school. Besides the income we also encourage the girls to attend workshops and spend time with the staff on our center. We want to be as helpful as possible to all participants and this include not only financial relief but also softer values like counseling and general guidance.
Funding the UBI program
SOWE is a proud member of Angel Protocol and leverage the infrastructure they have built for charities to operate endowment accounts and receive donations on chain.
We issued our first round of microloans in february 2022. This round included 17 women that received loans of a total 2843 USD. Our second round of loans was issued in September 2023 and included 26 women and 4700 USD. Our loans has no interest rate and all repayments will be going back to the community in the form of new loans. Our intention is to create a social incentive to pay back the loans, as all repayments will benefit other women in the region. The microloan funds are intended to circulate among entrepreneurs in the community of Mpigi and give women entrepreneurs in the area a way to start their own businesses. In the first round of microloans we prioritized women that already had sustainable businesses, but were negatively affected and forced to bankruptcy by the very extensive restrictions put into place in response to Covid-19.
Default rate for our loans is currently below 10% and a large part of the loan takers have been able to repay their loan completely within the first year.
More data on the project will be published in September 2023.