Spirit Rosenberg from Great.com interviewed John Stephens, CEO of The BOMA Project as part of their ‘Great.com Talks With…’ podcast. This series is an antidote to negative news stories that aims to shed light on organizations and experts whose work is making a positive impact on the world.

As the primary care providers for families, women’s unique role in development is of the utmost importance. Addressing extreme poverty must be inclusive of women and focus on solutions that foster self-reliance for durable success. In this episode, John illustrates how supporting women to develop their own businesses through a poverty graduation approach has seen positive development and human outcomes.

“It is really a set of outcomes and methods around taking a very vulnerable and fragile household and pushing them through that more extreme part of poverty, to a place where they’re more prosperous and more able to keep moving forward.”

Implementing a process of graduation has shown success rates upwards of 90% with women who have gone through the program. This involves the provision of a small loan, the creation of a savings account and assistance in setting up a small business from which a family can subsist on, coupled with training over a period of 24 months. This multi-faceted approach allows for direct investment of financial capital to women and businesses that can foster an income-generating enterprise.

Listen to the whole interview to find out how you can support female-run businesses in East Africa seeking to harness the potential of self-reliance to tackle extreme poverty. With a model centered around four of the UN’s sustainable development goals, BOMA’s ideal future would be a world devoid of extreme poverty.

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