Uganda has been experiencing a tremendous improvement in its economic performance and growth. This impressive improvement however has resulted in heighted uneven income inequality and this has slowed down the rate of poverty reduction in the country. This income inequality has increased the number of individuals living below the poverty line due to uneven patterns of success leading to high levels of poverty in the country. The women are the most affected by unemployment which has resulted in their being relegated to the informal sector due to their low skills and low levels of education. In order to bridge the gap of low skills, unemployment and in a bid to eradicate poverty, Bead for Life a Non- Governmental Organisation in Kampala has through its programme of entrepreneurial training contributed to skills development and subsequently provided income generating activities for the women who are trained in their organisation. This study is focusing on the impact of entrepreneurial training by Bead for Life on enterprise performance and livelihood outcomes. The study areas were chosen due to the programme being urban based. Bead for life has been implementing its entrepreneurial training since 2004. The aim of the training is to create sustainable opportunities through skills development which in turn will provide income generating activities by setting up enterprises to lift the women’s families out of extreme poverty. This is done through selection criteria. The organisation expects to achieve impacts of asset accumulation and an enterprise/ business for each lady after graduation from the organisation. The extent to which the training does impact on the lives of the participants is not known and the selection criterion for who is eligible to join is not clearly spelt out. The main objective of the study is explain the role of entrepreneurial training by bead for life on enterprise building, change in income and its influence on the different livelihood outcomes. Several relevant literature reviewed aided in deeper analysis of poverty, risk and insecurity, Power relations, risk management strategies, entrepreneurship, cash flow management by the poor and asset building. Literature suggests that even with the opportunity of entrepreneurial training and enterprise building, the poor do have different livelihood outcomes as opposed to only asset accumulation. The study therefore focused on how entrepreneurial training by Bead for Life impacted on enterprise performance and livelihood outcomes. The study was conducted through a quasi- experiment with a combination of the case study with two groups involved. The treatment group comprised of members who had undergone the training and the control group comprised those that had registered to join the organisation. The experiment helped to assess the impact of the programme. The research used a combination of qualitative and quantitative data which was collected using structured interviews for the survey of the control and treatment group. Semi- structured interview guides were used to collect qualitative data from the ladies who had undergone the training. The interviews helped in revealing the different reasons for the different livelihood outcomes. In order to measure the impact, the two groups created were comparable before the introduction of the training to check similarities and to see what changes had transpired in the present time. The main research findings revealed that through acquisition of new skills of book keeping among others, risk was a huddle that was easily cleared by the ladies and this led to setting up of new enterprises. Furthermore the study revealed that even with training there was still a high level of worry and concern among the ladies. The study also revealed that majority of the enterprises that were setup were survivalist in nature and they led to a change in income. There was a change in the financial and human capital but there was however no change in physical and social capital. The study revealed that with new income assets were acquired but over time risk management and survival became a priority and thus strategies like cutting down costs, selling of assets, working of long hours, setting up businesses on the side were done by the ladies in order to cope during the hard times in the households. The findings summed it up by revealing that due to the enterprises being survivalist in nature, with low and irregular incomes, assets were accumulated when an opportunity presented its self and this was used as collateral during the hard times to cope, guard against risk and for daily survival within the household.

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Skinner, J.
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies

Auma, P.I. (2014, September). One Bead at A time. Retrieved from