Livelihood and Empowerment Support Scheme

The major objective of the Livelihoods and Empowerment Support Schemes (LESS) is to promote the social and economic emancipation of vulnerable but viable women. This is done through provision of financial and technical support in order to enhance the sustainability of their businesses, household income and food security which ultimately contributes to poverty reduction in the communities.

The Department implements three (3) distinct sub-programmes under LESS. These are Village Bank, Support to Women Clubs and Association and Supporting Women’s Livelihood initiative, a component of the Girls Education and Women’s Empowerment and Livelihoods (GEWEL) project.

These sub-programmes provide technical support as well as productivity grants or micro-credit and sometimes equipments to the low capacity women beneficiaries. In terms of the technical support, the women are trained in life and business skills, leadership, Savings support and other business specific trainings like chicken rearing, pottery gardening among others. 

 Village Bank (Micro – Credit to Women)

The Village Bank (Micro – credit Scheme) facilitates the provision of life and business skills and micro-credit to vulnerable women to enable them start and grow their businesses. This is as way of stimulating savings and financial inclusion at community level. The programme is implemented through a revolving fund scheme and is currently being implemented in 58 Districts.

In 2021, 36 Districts were recapitalized with a total of K3, 000,000.00 as seed funds and training in entrepreneurship and savings. Under this funding, a total of 3,768 women were supported with low interest loans ranging from K500 to K2500.  

SUMMARY

Programme inception

Year 2013

Objective of programme

Facilitate provision of micro-credit as well as entrepreneurship trainings to vulnerable but viable women in the country

Type of support

        i.            Low interest loans (From K500 to K2,000);

      ii.            Entrepreneurship  trainings

Target

Poor and vulnerable but viable women from low capacity households

Sustainability features

Revolving fund

2021 Budgetary allocation

Three Million Kwacha (K3,000,000)

Funding for the programme

GRZ Only

 Women Livelihood Group Support

The Department believes that there is strength in groups as such some interventions target women groups to accelerate the socio-economic empowerment and emancipation. This programme is therefore used in fostering skills and economic development through the promotion of group support which subsequently propels social economic growth. The programme thus provides a base for financing of Income Generating Activities (IGAs) that lead to increased productivity for various products such as agricultural and livestock products, crafts etc. This programme is implemented in all 116 districts and in 2021.

 

SUMMARY

Programme inception

1970s

Objective of programme

Fostering economic development through the promotion of group support which subsequently propels social economic growth

Type of support

        i.                        entrepreneurship and savings support

      ii.                        Grant (Cash)

    iii.                        Equipment

Target

i)Women’s Clubs/Groups

ii) Women’s Associations

2021 Budgetary allocation

K33 Million

Funding for the programme

GRZ Only

2021 caseload

2,713

 

 

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