Mission: to economically empower rural women and their communities through sustainable, grass-roots business
Vision: A community of self-reliant, innovative, and productive women in Uganda
Karacel [kar-ah-chel] "all together"
Karacel Bakery & Training Center is a social enterprise in Northern Uganda focused on women’s empowerment while providing access to nutritious flour, bread, and snacks to the local community. Karacel Bakery emerged in 2019 as the result of a previous project called Women Empowered in Business (WEB) Soya Flour & Cakes. In 2017, a grass-roots non-governmental organization called Foundation for Inclusive Community Help (FICH) noticed that while soya beans are widely grown in Northern Uganda, most farmers lack the skill and capital to add value to their produce. Furthermore, women earn on average only 20,000 UGX ($5.40) per month and have little access to education and employment opportunities. In response to this, FICH initiated the WEB Soya project to help women farmers produce soya flour so that they could increase their monthly incomes and gain job skills to help them gain other employment or start their own businesses. The project was successful and in January 2018, the WEB Soya project became WEB Soya Flour & Cakes. Since then, the project went through strategic changes in order to maximize the benefit to the women participants and the community emerging with Karacel Bakery & Training Center.
Karacel Bakery buys soya beans from rural women farmers and employs them to make soya flour. Then, Karacel employs another set of urban women to bake cake and bread in Lira town. The flour, bread, and snacks that Karacel produces are a healthy alternative to wheat flour and white bread because soya beans are a complete protein, offering a balanced dose of amino acids, iron, fiber, calcium, healthy fats, and protein. These products are otherwise unavailable on the market so Karacel is providing, for the first time, access to these healthy products to over 700,000 people.
Karacel Training Center maintains a holistic approach to personal and professional development for program participants. Women who are part of Karacel join the program with an end goal in mind: to go back to school or to start a business. The Training Center offers workshops and coaching to participants to ensure not only that their goal is met but that they are well-prepared for life after Karacel.