The majority of Uganda’s farmers live in extremely rural settings, often disconnected from financial systems. Of those who borrow money, over 80% resort to informal networks. There is a huge gap in the market among institutions offering loans and financial products for these farmers. Their terms and conditions don’t take into account realities like seasonal income variants and the low-risk threshold of those living so close to the margin.
Cycle Connect began operations in 2014 as a lease-to-own bicycle business targeting rural smallholder farmers in Northern Uganda. After 3 years, their model proved successful and in 2018 Cycle Connect decided to apply the same model to more productive assets. The business connects rural smallholder farmers with the necessary tools to propel forward out of poverty, through loan cycles of productive assets that are proven to increase income.
Cycle Connect has so far disbursed ~5,000 asset loans to small holder farmers with ~2,780 asset loans having been completed as at June 2019. Number of lives impacted are ~25,000.