What is a “responsibly placed microloan?”
All decisions are made in country: The Executive Team (made up of the local, female business and spiritual leaders) manages the entire microloan process, from initial application to repayment. They know their community, the community’s needs and culture.
All microloans are granted based on best business practice standards: The potential loan recipient meets with the Executive Team and presents their business plan. This plan includes a mission statement, business plan, potential customer base, marketing plans, and projected operating budget. Each woman must be recommended by someone in the community who can vouch for their integrity.
Ongoing mentorship is a key component to long term success:
All microloans come with a business mentor: Once approved, each loan recipient is given a business mentor who meets with her periodically in order to provide advice and knowledge to help her be successful.
The microloan process is sustainable:
Each microloan has a specific repayment plan. Each recipient is expected to repay the loan. (Of course, just as in the US, some businesses fail but, by God’s grace this has been rare). Once the loan is repaid, those funds are recycled to provide another woman the opportunity to start or expand a business. The goal is for a woman to be able to provide for herself and her family through the work of her own hands.
Some examples of businesses previously financed include:
- Office supply delivery business
- Road side café
- Jewelry making
- Basket making