Women’s Entrepreneurship

In 2019

564 Students
attended elementary or middle school

Niger is ranked last of 189 countries in the UN’s Human Development Index and ranks near the bottom of the list for the Gender Inequality Index.

Income loss associated with Niger’s gender gap is estimated to be 32 percent of GDP. We believe that with the right support, women’s enterprises succeed.

Our Women’s Entrepreneurship programs train cohorts of women in the basics of financial literacy and business practice. By layering our structured training program onto familiar income-generating practices, we seek to render the process more accessible and set these networks of women up to support themselves and one another as they collectively navigate whatever challenges they may face.

Sustainable Herding Initiative

84% of Niger’s population lives in rural areas. Herding has sustained these communities for centuries. Our Sustainable Herding Initiative (SHI) works with women who serve as mentors in our Education Program. We help each mentor to establish a small herd of goats and provide vaccinations and training in sustainable animal health and husbandry. We work with goats because their tenacity amidst Niger’s extreme weather conditions makes them particularly resilient. 

Over several years, we work with mentors to develop financial literacy, an understanding of basic market economics, and business planning skills. While they grow their herds, livestock products such as milk and cheese, contribute to their much-needed food security and income. As herds grow,  the male kids of the original goats can be sold for profit until the herd reaches a sustainable size. SHI builds sustainable livelihoods through culturally representative traditions and practices.

Savings & Loans Program

20 women come together to form a Savings & Loans group. Collectively, with the support of one of RAIN’s Field Agents, they determine their group’s protocols and processes including setting savings amounts, loan duration, interest rates, and fines. The women contribute weekly and then take out loans on a rotating basis. 

The program aims to give women the skills and confidence needed to survey their community’s needs, identify a solution, and create their own opportunities to intervene. This program helps women approach traditional livelihoods from a business-oriented mindset.