Mission & Story
Hiinga is a Christian economic development organization with a mission to create jobs by investing in African entrepreneurs so they can thrive.
We do this by funding micro, small, and medium enterprise companies in East Africa. Recognizing that access to capital is not the only problem, our loans are preceded by intensive business training (Hiinga Mini-MBA) and leadership development so that our entrepreneurs can thrive and create long lasting value for their communities, families and churches.
Todate, Hiinga has financed more than 50 village cooperatives with membership of over 30,000 people in 15 districts in Uganda. Hiinga partners with the local church and local government to serve the needs of farmers through savings, credit, financial literacy, agricultural training and leadership development. Hiinga currently finances over 40 small businesses in Northern Uganda, and also has three medium sized enterprise clients within the education and service sectors.
According to the Small Enterprise Assistance Funds, every $1 invested in an SME generates, on average, an additional $13 in the local economy.
– Stanford Social Innovation Review
Andy was raised in village in the heart of Uganda. Two weeks before his birth, his father was robbed of his car, then shot multiple times and killed. His mother, as the sole provider struggled to put food on the table. Andy’s home didn’t have running water or electricity, but this was normal. They faced the usual challenges of extreme poverty, with the mother more than often struggling to pay for her children’s tuition in school.
When Andy was about 12 years old, his mom decided to take the micro-entrepreneur route. With a few savings and additional capital of around $35, she invested in a small roadside tea cafe. Through selling chai (tea) and chapati (flat bread) and mandazi (donuts), she was able to make money to pay for her children’s education. She also used some of the savings to begin a farming enterprise. Buying two young male and female pigs, she was able to multiply them and sell them for meat. Proceeds ensured that Andy was able to attend some of the best schools beyond his mother’s wildest dreams.
As his mother fought hard for the children, Andy put all of his might into excelling in school, because someday he knew education could change everything. So he studied to become top 1% of his country so that he could earn a government scholarship to university. Without a scholarship, his mother would never have been able to afford his college education.
In 2009, he came to the USA with a dream to found Hiinga. With his newlywed wife, Sonya, they uprooted themselves to come and establish a foundation to invest in people without economic opportunity. In 2012, Hiinga was launched through a sheer miracle of God’s provision. 13 families were given loans and the following year, over 1,200 loans were made. To date, over 20,000 loans have been underwritten, and Hiinga has developed capacity to grow beyond micro-loans that are survivalist in nature, to funding small and medium entrepreneurs who have the real shot of creating jobs for millions of jobless Africans. By 2022, Hiinga hopes to support more than 100,000 jobs. This will directly impact lives of over 1 million women, men and children.