Over the past 20 years, our partner in Bangladesh, Nelson, conducted successful SowHope-funded projects which have helped more than 10,000 women become microfinance entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, due to the long-lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the overall inflation rate in Bangladesh jumped to 7.56% since July of 2022 while food inflation rose to 9.74% over the same time period. This is causing much hardship, especially for rural people.

As a response, Nelson requested funding for a 3-year microfinance project, targeting rural areas of Bangladesh that are populated by mainly minority and indigenous groups who were untouched by the 20-year economic boom, yet have suffered greatly through current economic challenges. The goal is to start 72 small groups totaling 1,000 women. This project creates loan accessibility for undertaking any Income Generating Activity (IGA), such as agriculture and livestock rearing, fish farming, producing and selling locally sourced products in various economic sectors, among others.

Besides bringing women together as part of a weekly support group, the project provides training in mother and child healthcare, nutrition, sanitation, gender equality, human rights, women’s leadership, personal potential, and good business practices. Economic empowerment comes through a weekly savings program which creates ownership in the group and each woman’s own personal savings. For many, this is the first time they have ever been able to make and save money. The economic boost gained by the women from their IGAs increases their household assets, giving them more importance in their families as well as a better stand in society. Thanks to your generosity, the project has so far been highly successful. We hope, with your continued generosity, it will be supported through 2025.