This project targets entrepreneurial poor women and creates Self Help Trust Groups of five women per group. These women have the desire to help themselves break the cycle of poverty but lack the start-up capital to run their own small business. This is made possible through an initial, small once-off loan; this enables them to work, earn a constant income, provide for the needs of their household, establish savings and brings hope for entire families. This is our third year of funding this project, and we have been impressed with the results to date.
WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT IT
The creation of local micro-enterprise initiatives is a business tool that promotes fair trade, income provision and economic empowerment. The in-country implementing partners have established strong relationships on the ground within the communities in which they operate. Group rather than individual loans develops a support network for beginning businesses and improves the rate of return. Economic empowerment is a proven tool in community development that supports not only the individual but those in her community and family.
Without the chance to ‘get ahead’ financially, these people are trapped in a hand to mouth existence or systemic poverty. In this place, they have 2 options; risk great debt and harm to their family by borrowing money from loan sharks or stay poor. Something as simple as good training, strong selection procedures and implementing methodology combined with a micro-loan enables sustainable business opportunities, builds dignity and hope and breaks their dependence on aid and handouts.
This funding will allow for adequate selection, training, follow up and management of 1,167 loans (the budget allows for loans to be repaid and then made available to a new lender over the course of the project). The average cost to facilitate (service) a loan is $30 per person.