How REAP Works
BOMA’s Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP) is an innovative two-year poverty graduation program that provides a cash grant (seed capital to launch a business), sustained training in business skills and savings, and hands-on local mentoring by BOMA Village Mentors to business groups of three women.
When the businesses are established and generating profits, typically at six months, Mentors work with REAP groups to form BOMA savings associations and work with each savings group for one year. Our program targets the poorest of the poor: When we begin working with them, 99 percent of BOMA entrepreneurs live on less than $2.50 per day (the poverty line), while 88 percent live on less than $1.25 per day (the extreme poverty line).
REAP helps women to build a pathway out of extreme poverty by addressing three elements that contribute to the cycle of aid dependency in the arid lands of Africa: low incomes, inconsistent cash flows and inadequate financial services for the rural poor. Profits from each REAP business provide a diversified income, while BOMA savings associations help women to manage cash flow (for daily needs), plan for future expenses (such as school fees and medical care), and respond to shocks (such as drought or family emergencies). To learn about the six steps of REAP, click here.
Does REAP work? Yes. According to our impact evaluations, REAP allows participants to double their household income. Women consistently report that the top benefits of a BOMA business are the ability to buy food for their families, pay for school fees and medical care, and establish a financial safety net through savings, so the family is better-equipped to handle emergencies and survive shocks. To learn how REAP is changing lives in Northern Kenya, click here.