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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Womens Microfinance Initiative Corporation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Philanthropy, Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations

Mission: WMI’s mission is to work with village-level organizations to provide loans to poor women in East Africa so that they can engage in sustainable income generation, build savings and accumulate assets.  Its goals are to help women stabilize their income, raise their household standard of living, secure better opportunities for their children and trigger regional growth.

Results: WMI has established a $175,000 revolving loan fund and issued over 1,200 loans to impoverished women living in over 60 rural villages in Kenya and Uganda.

Target demographics: Impoverished women in East Africa

Direct beneficiaries per year: 500

Geographic areas served: East Africa

Programs: Loan program, Training in bookkeeping and financial planning, After-school tutoring, Children's Library

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

(Volunteer and donor) Women's Microfinance Initiative has, in very few years, taken a successful plan and expanded it carefully and wisely. There is great enthusiasm among the volunteers and workers. They have done a great job collecting knowledgeable people (from a broad spectrum of professions) on their active board. Their overhead is quite small. But most relevant: they are doing important work!


Rating: 5

Amazingly successful at empowering women in the most fundamental of ways-- how to start and grow businesses so they can be financially independent. A true grass roots endeavor, that has had profound impact on individual women, their families and their villages.



Rating: 5

There are so many positive attributes to this initiative, it's difficult to know where to begin. All the donations go directly into the loans. There are no U.S. staff salaries. Robyn Nietert, founder and president, devotes fulltime to the program and guides the work of other volunteers and interns. She travels to East Africa to assess progress and inspire local participants. The program has made a difference in the lives of a growing number of women and their families in East Africa and is a model that should be replicated in many other areas.



Rating: 5

I feel so good making a contribution to WMI because I am 100% confident that the money I give will go directly into the hands of the women who need it--and not for overhead or administrative costs. WMI works because it is a women to women program that helps from the bottom up, and tangibly has impacted the lives of not only the women to whom it's made loans, but to their families, their communities and their country. I'm honored to be able to help such a positive program change the lives of others for the better--not just in word, but in deed.