BOMA's Approach to Ending Extreme Poverty
BOMA’s poverty graduation model — the Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP) — is one of the most successful, sustainable, and cost-effective poverty graduation approaches in the world. It was designed for and has been tested and refined in the uniquely challenging context of the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) of northern Kenya. REAP entails 16 to 24 months of sequenced interventions with a clear exit strategy and rigorous criteria for success. Communities nominate their poorest, most vulnerable members, who then form small business groups, learn how to draft a business plan, and receive a cash grant to immediately start a small business. New entrepreneurs receive financial and life skills training and are mentored for two years to manage and grow their business. They also contribute to a savings pool, which they can access as needed to cope with shocks or to invest in expanding their business.
Participants have “graduated” from poverty when they meet their benchmarks for food security, sustainable livelihoods, shock preparedness, and human and social capital. BOMA’s model is proven to have a lasting impact on participants — upon graduating from BOMA’s programs, entrepreneurs experience:
Increase in Savings