Spotlight on Millie Wolimbwa: Finance Manager

The Buyobo Women’s Association is pleased to congratulate our Finance Manager, Millie Wolimbwa, in her one-year work anniversary with the team!

Millie Wolimbwa, Finance Manager

Millie had already been a dedicated team member for over five years before she came on board full-time in June, 2016. As a high school student she starting volunteering during summers and term breaks, assisting with typing, filing and other secretarial work and learning the ins and outs of the program, and she continued volunteering as she started her university studies. When it came time for BWA to hire its first full-time Finance Manager she was a natural candidate. Millie formally joined BWA after graduating from Makerere University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance.

One of only two full-time staff members at Buyobo Women’s Association headquarters, Millie contributes a friendly face and positive attitude in addition to her deep financial knowledge. She is known to jump in to help with any job that needs doing – including accepting loan payments, helping borrowers fill out loan application forms and printing documents. Most importantly, Millie’s financial expertise has been critical to managing BWA’s day-to-day operations, banking relationships and constructing new financial inclusion programs over the past year.

Millie (second from left) participates in a budget meeting with BWA’s Executive Committee

As a ‘born of Buyobo,’ Millie is proud to work for an organization that she has watched grow over the past decade.  She credits the community nature of the program for its success, noting that the mutual trust between BWA staff and borrowers is what has allowed it to flourish. BWA’s microfinance program is inherently referral-based; a woman may only enter the program if she is referred by a qualified current borrower or graduate. Millie notes that the program continues to attract well-qualified borrowers because of the very visible success of current participants and graduates, leading to an ever-growing community of female entrepreneurs.

Millie has had a unique vantage point from which to view the growth of BWA: she is also the daughter of BWA’s Director, Olive Wolimbwa! Her exposure to microfinance from a young age has taught her a lot, most importantly about the benefits of proper record-keeping. She says, “if you get to know a problem in your business, then you find a way of solving that problem.”

She also emphasizes how important BWA has been to her family. Her mother’s participation in the loan program was able to fund school fees and university tuition for herself and all of her brothers and sisters. As a beneficiary, Millie is even more motivated to work for BWA and contribute to the fullest as a way of showing her gratitude.

Millie (right) engages in an epic hopscotch battle during a site visit to a BWA borrower’s business, a private primary school.

Next, Millie plans to become a CPA during a weekend training program in Mbale, the major town near Buyobo, and continue working with BWA during her studies. We couldn’t be more thrilled by her contributions to the team in her first year and we congratulate her on her accomplishments!

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