BOMA’s Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP) model has empowered thousands of people to escape extreme poverty. It started by empowering pastoral women in Northern Kenya, resulting in successful businesses created, increased education for girls and better meals. REAP proved so sustainable and cost-effective that BOMA invested in studying and scaling this approach to combat rising levels of extreme poverty in Africa’s drylands. Participants enroll in REAP for 12-24 months, learning valuable skills, launching sustainable businesses and forming savings groups with their peers — all with the guidance of their BOMA mentors. Upon graduating, participants see measurable improvements in savings, assets, and income. In light of this success, REAP is now being scaled and adapted to maximize efficiency in an effort to transform the lives of three million women, youth, and refugees by 2027.

In Close Collaboration

Alongside the direct implementation of BOMA’s REAP program, this approach is also being adopted by the Government of Kenya. The Kenya Social Economic Inclusion Project (KSEIP) is a World Bank-funded, Government of Kenya-led endeavor to expand the country’s safety net programming for the poor and to test the expansion of the poverty graduation approach. As part of KSEIP, BOMA, in partnership with the Global Development Incubator and Village Enterprise, is helping the Kenyan Ministry of Labor and Social Protection to embed BOMA’s model and the graduation approach in the Government of Kenya’s social protection program. Focused on economic inclusion and women’s empowerment, KSEIP is enabling tens of thousands of Kenyans living in extreme poverty to engage in sustainable livelihoods and develop resilience. The project will also build the capacity of the national and county governments in five counties to scale the reach of the poverty graduation approach.

The Steps of REAP

These six steps comprise BOMA’s poverty graduation approach, the Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP)

Step One: Targeting

Community led development is, and always will be, part of BOMA’s core values. We identify new BOMA participants through a three-pronged approach entailing community consultation, ranking through BOMA’s unique targeting tool, and baseline surveys conducted by trained, independent enumerators.

Step Two: Transfer

Each business receives a seed capital grant of $200 to launch the enterprise. A second, performance-based conditional cash transfer of $100 is distributed at six months, following a satisfactory progress report by the Mentor. As of 2021, all cash transfers are done via mobile money.

Step Three: Training

Mentors provide training and coaching. Financial training sessions cover supply and demand, profit and pricing, record keeping, marketing, savings, borrowing lending, planning for long-term expenses, and investing. Life-skills sessions include household decision-making, educating children, family planning, and natural resource management.

Step Four: Mentoring

A BOMA Mentor assembles business groups of three qualified participants and helps them launch their businesses, then visits each business monthly to provide ongoing support. Mentors are a key aspect of BOMA’s program delivery and contribute powerfully to the success of BOMA participants.

Step Five: Savings

At six months, Mentors assemble 3-5 business groups into savings associations, whose members meet monthly to deposit or withdraw savings. Mentors work with each group and deliver micro-trainings for the remaining 18 months. These savings can prove critical in helping participants weather shocks like drought or disease.

Step Six: Linkages

All BOMA savings groups are registered with County Social Services, facilitating their ability to access formal financial institutions and services. Depending on access, BOMA also helps participants open personal bank accounts. All participants are provided with a mobile phone and connected to M-PESA, a mobile money-transfer service.

REAP Adaptations

BOMA has adapted our classic REAP model to serve populations impacted by the climate crisis, food insecurity and malnutrition, instability, and youth unemployment.

Green REAP






REAP for Refugees






REAP for Nutrition






SEED for Youth