Nearly half the world’s people live in extreme poverty, struggling to feed, educate and provide health care for their kids. When parents have meaningful work, they can provide for their own families, but to get there, they need the resources to get started – otherwise known as “access to capital.”
Microfinance is the provision of financial services to people who would not normally have access to them, including:
Microfinance is an investment in people, their communities and their country’s future.
Through microfinance, the entrepreneurial poor can move from dependence to sustainability. They are empowered to change their own lives and the lives of their children. And because parents invest in their children, kids in these communities are more likely to go to school, and more likely to stay there longer. The benefits don’t stop there, though. Profits from the loans are reinvested in communities, meaning that microfinance helps parents invest not only in their own children, but in their children’s community.
What We Do
We help in three ways:
- · Community Banks
Remote communities may not have ATMs, but that doesn’t meant they can’t have a bank. Using seed capital that is paid back over time, we train communities on how to form a bank to provide financial services to their members.
- · Solidarity Groups
These consist of three to five people who each get a small loan. The groups members cross-guarantee each other’s loans to keep each other accountable. This has meant that more than 98 per cent of loans are paid back within the first year, an enviable record for any banking system.
- · Individual Loans
Once someone has proven their financial savvy through paying back several loans, and has the collateral to sustain themselves, community members are eligible for a larger individual loan.