The effect of UWEP on the welfare of beneficiaries. A case study of Rubanda District
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This study investigates the effects of the Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP) on the welfare of beneficiaries in Rubanda district. Three sub-counties within Rubandawere considered for this research. Specifically, the study was conducted in the sub-counties of Muko, Bufundi and Ikumba considering a sample of 52 UWEP women entrepreneurs out of the 60. Specific objectives for this paper were: to establish the effect of UWEP on business growth, to assess the effect of UWEP on the social welfare of its beneficiaries and to ascertain major challenges faced by the women entrepreneurs in Rubanda district. The study involved use of both qualitative and quantitative methods and data was collected using face-to-face- questionnaires. Data was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. The results showed that there was a significant positive relationship between the UWEP access to fund and business growth in terms of income enhancement. Findings showed further that UWEP interventions had improved the socio welfare of the women entrepreneurs in terms of children’s education and acquiring basic household assets. It was also found out that most of the women benefiting from the programme had completed secondary education and thus funds were not going to the most vulnerable women Despite the benefits of the UWEP programme, major challenges like inadequate funding, large group numbers and some group members not wanting to repay the loan, too much paperwork required and lack of business management skills were put forward by the women entrepreneurs interviewed. However, this study recommends that the programme funding is increased, creation of incubation centres for mentorship and skills training conducted to enable realization of the pre-set programme objectives.