Tugende raises $5m to expand employment opportunities & financial inclusion in Uganda

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PG Impact Investments, a global impact investment firm, has become a lender to Tugende, a Kampala-based provider of lease-to-own financing to financially excluded individuals to help them own income generating assets. Tugende’s core product helps motorbike taxi (“boda-boda”) drivers to purchase their vehicles, allowing customers to save money that they would normally spend renting and instead own an income generating-asset.

Lack of transportation has been highlighted by the United Nations as one of Uganda’s greatest obstacles for economic development, while high unemployment and exclusion from financial services compounds a lack of opportunity for the majority of low-income individuals. Tugende works to provide financial stability and to increase access to wealth through their unique financial products in the transportation sector, including insurance, safety equipment and training, as part of its financing packages. Tugende’s clients are considered too risky to lend to by most banks but with 7’000 leases completed, the company has found that customers on average double their daily net income as a result of owning through Tugende. This allows customers to invest their own higher earnings to buy land, property, livestock, healthcare and education, which Michael Wilkerson, CEO of Tugende, says is key to creating economic growth

“There are millions of self-employed entrepreneurs in East Africa who will make and save more money with the right access to finance, particularly for productive assets,” Wilkerson says. “The impact created when these new owners invest those gains back into their own communities is transformative, and Tugende is dedicated to continuing to help people drive themselves up the economic ladder.”

Urs Baumann, CEO of PG Impact Investments, stated: “We are excited to partner with Tugende, a company that has a proven track record of serving clients that are often left behind by the traditional financing sector. In doing so they provide stability and increased earning potential for their customers.”

PG Impact Investments is committed to enabling creative financial solutions to addressing poverty.  The investment will help Tugende to reach more clients, develop new products and responsibly expand their presence to even more underserved communities.A