Tugende Limited, a financial enterprise that helps motorcycle taxi drivers in Uganda own their motorcycles, has received another $5 million (Shs18.5 billion) from PG Impact Investments, a global impact investment firm, to boost its operations.
The funding comes six months after Tugende in August acquired a $5 million (about Shs18.5 billion) loan from The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets.
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.”
Baumann said they were motivated to invest in Tugende after the United Nations highlighted lack of transportation 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 the low-income individual.
He added that PG Impact Investments is committed to enabling creative financial solutions to address poverty and that he hopes the investment will help Tugende to reach more clients, develop new products and responsibly expand their presence to even more underserved communities.
Tugende was started six years ago by Michael Wilkerson who had come to Uganda for a journalism internship program at the Daily Monitor.
With Tugende, after a rigorous selection process, a boda-boda rider is given a motorcycle of their choice at a lease-to-own arrangement; the lease is then paid back weekly over a 19-month period with principal and interest components.
Wilkerson said: “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.”
Seasonal Journalist and owner of The Independent Magazine Andrew Mwenda sits on the company’s board as director and advisor.
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