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Empowering Individuals in the Global Community Through Entrepreneurship
Microfinance Institution Partner's receive grants from Whole Planet Foundation to establish and run microlending programs. In some cases Whole Planet Foundation funds the loan pool of an existing MFI.
Adelante Foundation's mission is to improve the standard of living of extremely poor women living in Honduras. Since 1999, Adelante has provided small loans so these women can start and grow their own small business. Over time, the women use their profits to buy better food for their families, improve their homes, buy medicine when necessary, send their children to school, and to plan and save for the future. Whole Planet Foundation partners with Adelante Foundation in the departments of Choluteca, Colon and Atlántida in Honduras.
ASALA, the Palestinian Businesswomen’s Association, has been actively providing loans to women since its establishment in 1997. ASALA’s headquarters is in Ramallah and it has ten strategically located branch offices throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. ASALA targets impoverished and excluded Palestinian women in order to empower them and put them on a track that will lead to financial independence and stability.
ASALA is a leader in small and micro financing and believes in the role of micro-credit in the fight against poverty. ASALA also believes that its microfinance program serves as a leading model for reaching sustainable long term development. Palestinian women, often the only individuals able to revive the economic life of the family due to the suffocating and exacerbating political reality, are given real opportunities to pull themselves and their families out of poverty.
Started by Oxfam Quebec in 1997, ASALA became an independent organization in 2001. ASALA received subsequent funding from Dutch funding and Catholic Relief Services assisted them to develop their mission statement and methodology which was focused on providing group loans to poor women in Palestine. It has since expanded its mission to include individual loans that remain accessible to low-income women in the region.
Started in 1972 as a relief NGO in Bangladesh following the end of the Bangladesh’s war for independence, BRAC shifted from emergency relief to community development in the years following. The BRAC vision is a world free from all forms of exploitation and discrimination where everyone has the opportunity to realize their potential. BRAC’s operational structure revolves around providing micro-credit to the poor combined with social interventions in the agriculture, education and health sectors.
Microfinance is one of the oldest initiatives of its kind in Bangladesh and BRAC’s largest programme, our microfinance operations began in 1974 and covers all 64 districts in Bangladesh and has expanded to 9 countries outside of Bangladesh. BRAC provides access to financial services to the poor, who are unable to obtain credit from mainstream banks due to lack of necessary assets and referrals. Brac borrowers, most of whom are women, use these loans to engage in various income generating activities to improve their socio-economic status.
BRAC’s approach to microfinance involves providing collateral free credit and savings services at the doorsteps of our target population – the landless poor, marginal farmers and vulnerable small entrepreneurs. BRAC recognises the heterogeneity among the poor and focus on careful targeting and development of customised financial products and services that best meet their varying needs.
CAURIE-Microfinance provides small solidarity –based loans to over 40,000 women across rural Senegal.
The CAURIE mission is to contribute to the economic and social support of poor micro-entrepreneurs, principally women, by offering them appropriate financial products and services. In order to meet the needs of the rural poor, CAURIE works through village groups that are organized and managed as Village Banks with on average 50 women per group. The groups are always self-selected, and their leadership elected by the members in order to best lead a loan group that relies on solidarity collateral. Membership is always voluntary as long as they meet the commitments laid out at the start of the program.
CAURIE was started by Catholic Relief Services and Caritas Senegal in 1999 and became an independent institution in 2005. The institution is based in Thies, Senegal about one hour outside of the capital of Dakar. They now provide financial services to an ever-growing number of rural clients at with an exceptionally high level of portfolio quality.
CHAMROEUN Microfinance Limited is a microfinance operator in Cambodia established at the end of 2005 by French NGO, Entrepreneur du Monde. Its mission is to assist poor families living in urban depressed areas, increase their incomes, overcome unexpected expenses and develop long term projects through the provision of loans, savings, and micro insurance services, to help poor micro-entrepreneurs improve their business skills and self-confidence through the provision of training and business counseling and to support poor families and their relatives with social counseling and referral to relevant organizations.
There are two main services – financial and non-financial. For financial service, CHAMROEUN provides a number of flexible financial services to its partners. This provision is adapted to their individual's need and businesses. Loans range from 50,000 riels ($12) up to 2,000,000 riels ($500) for a first loan, and it can be either disbursed as group or individual loans. While the non-financial service, CHAMROEUN's goal is to offer its partners and their relatives the possibilities to improve their business, and their living conditions in a sustainable way in line with CHAMROEUN's commitment to succeed long term. Non-financial services are designed to partners, relatives, and co-makers who are willing to improve their businesses and living standard. All these services to participants are free of charge. What we are paying much attention is over 80% of our partners are women.
Chifeng Zhaowuda Women’s Sustainable Development Association (CZWSDA) is a non-profit corporation aggregate, sponsored by Chifeng Women’s Federation. CZWSDA was founded in 2001 in Inner Mongolia China to carry out Microfinance and other related businesses.
Now we have three branches in AoHan area, Balinyou area and Songshan district.
Our purpose is use the funds and support from home and aboard to provide micro-finance, technical, legal and other related services to the poor women, promoting the harmonious development of the economy, environment and mankind.
Enda inter-arabe is an international NGO, member of Enda third-world network (Environment Development Action). Founded in 1990 in Tunisia by Mrs.Essma Ben Hamida, its actual Executive Director and Mr. Michael Cracknell, its actual Secretary General, enda inter-arabe supports micro-entrepreneurs by providing financial and non financial services.
Enda inter-arabe offers flexible, diversified products that are adapted to the needs of the micro-entrepreneurs, thanks to proximity and a listening-to-clients policy.
Enda inter-arabe also provides support services to micro-entrepreneurs (marketing, training in management and product improvement, individual diagnosis-advises, financial and civic education).
Enda inter-arabe is the only micro-credit institution in Tunisia following internationally-recognized “best practices”.
It currently provides micro-credit to over 170 000 poor Tunisian micro-entrepreneurs, mainly women, through 65 branches throughout the country. The portfolio is approximately USD 70 million.Enda inter-arabe is self-sufficient and employs over 900 people.
In 2010, it obtained from MicroRate an “alpha” rate for its financial performances and “excellent” for its social performances and was ranked 21st out of the top 100 microfinance institutions in the world by the Microfinance Information Exchange (MixMarket)
Enda inter-arabe is a social enterprise and in 2010, its Executive Director, Essma Ben Hamida received the Schwab Award as Social Entrepreneur of the year in the MENA region.
It also received the 2011 Grameen Jameel Award for leadership in the MENA region at the 2011 annual conference of Sanabel,the Microfinance Network of Arab Countries.
Enda inter-arabe is a member of the following networks: Sanabel, the Microfinance Network of Arab Countries, Microfinance Network (MFN), based in Mexico and comprising the top 50 MFI’s in the world, Women’s World Banking (WWB) based in New York and African Microfinance Transparency (AMT). It is also a complimentary member of the Clinton Global Initiative network for the year 2011.
Founded in 1985, FINCA International is a pioneer in group lending that it calls Village Banking. The organization started in Latin American communities providing small group based solidarity loans, and eventually moved to Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. To meet exceptionally high demand, FINCA offers a full suite of pro-poor services and products including sophisticated branch-based interest-bearing savings and small enterprise loans, as well as its flagship Village Banking product that extends financial services directly into the communities where borrowers live and work.
FINCA-DRC in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a subsidiary company of FINCA International’s newly formed Microfinance Holdings company. As one of the leading MFIs in the country FINCA-DRC currently serves over 74,000 active loan clients and over 85,000 savers through 12 branch offices (2 in Bas Congo, 7 in Kinshasa and 3 in Katanga provinces), providing clients with a range of financial products and services including village banking, small group and individual loans as well as saving products including one targeting youth, enabling them to improve their livelihoods. FINCA-DRC is committed to the highest commercial principles of performance and sustainability.
With a $500,000 no interest loan over the next 3 years, Whole Planet Foundation will assist FINCA in opening a new remote branch supporting 4,762 new village Banking clients which would move services deeper into rural communities in Eastern Congo where the Whole Foods Markets source chocolate via the vendor Theo’s Chocolate.
Since its inception in 1995, FODEMI (Fondo de Desarollo Microempresarial or Microenterprise Development Fund) has been a socially-motivated microfinance institution. FODEMI is a non-profit organization that was founded with the support of World Vision International sixteen years ago and has recently partnered with Whole Planet Foundation. FODEMI has focused on providing access to credit and financial services for clients who cannot obtain credit from traditional financial institutions because of their economic limitations, their rural location, or their lack of formal guarantees such as collateral. Their objective is lessening, and gradually eliminating, the impact of poverty occurring in rural Ecuador by providing access to economic opportunities to generate income to improve borrowers’ quality of life. FODEMI operates across the expanse of the provinces located in the central and northern region of the Ecuadorian Andes through group credit methodologies that encourage community solidarity. In the region’s seven provinces, FODEMI has an impressive and extensive program of outreach in areas both urban and rural and across ethnic groups. The organization focuses on women and female heads of household who currently represent 71% of their customers. FODEMI directs its efforts to fulfill their mission of helping low-income entrepreneurs generate income to improve their quality of life of their children and reduce the poverty affecting the country.
Fonkoze is “Haiti’s Alternative Bank for the Organized Poor.” The formation of Fonkoze has been guided by support from Grameen Trust and Grameen Foundation USA. It is the largest microfinance institution (MFI) in Haiti, serving more than 55,000 women borrowers, most of whom live and work in the countryside of Haiti, and more than 175,000 savers. With its network of 37 branches covering every region of Haiti, it is also the only MFI that is truly national in scope.
Moreover, Fonkoze is one of the few MFIs in Haiti that is truly grass-roots. Fonkoze was founded in 1994 by a Haitian Catholic priest who started the institution with little more than a vision: a vision to provide the means for all Haitians, even the poorest, to participate in the economic development of the country. His target group was women, because as he declared, “Women are the backbone of the Haitian economy and the doorway into the family unit."
Fonkoze is Haiti’s alternative bank for the organized poor. In fact, it is a family of three institutions working together shoulder-to-shoulder towards a single compelling mission: building the economic foundations for democracy in Haiti by providing the rural poor with the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty. This mission is reflected in their name, Fonkoze, which is an acronym for the Haitian Creole phrase “Fondasyon Kole Zepòl” meaning “Shoulder-to-Shoulder Foundation.” Fonkoze sets its sites clearly on the poorest and aims to reduce poverty substantially and to demonstrate that poverty can be eliminated entirely.
The Fundación Paraguaya (FP) is a financially solid, well-managed social enterprise based in Asunción, Paraguay, whose mission is to develop innovative solutions to poverty and unemployment in Paraguay and proactively disseminate them around the world. It enjoys substantial international recognition over an extended period of time for its transparency, social innovation, pursuit of its social mission and sustainability.
The FP has 25 years of experience in microfinance, 15 years of experience in youth financial & entrepreneurial education - both as the representative of Junior Achievement in Paraguay and through its own entrepreneurial education and financial literacy programs, and 8 years of experience combining these two areas of expertise in the development and implementation of a new model of technical/vocation training for low-income youth, the Financially Self-sufficient (FSS) School. The FP currently runs three schools in Paraguay which follow the FSS School model and is providing technical assistance to other schools in Latin America and Africa which are adopting the model.
The FP is a founding member of Acción International, the leading microfinance network, as well as a member of a number of other international networks, including the Skoll and Schwab Foundation networks of social entrepreneurs, the World Economic Forum, Junior Achievement Worldwide, Synergos and others.
Grameen Motsho O Pashusampad Foundation (GMPF) is a non profit organization whose commitment towards poverty alleviation through the fisheries and livestock development program. GMPF has a board consisting with 9 members to give over all policy guidance & direction for the efficient functioning of the foundation. Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus is the chairman of the board. GMPF stepped into fisheries and aquaculture activities since 1986-88 for aquaculture development by landless poor community members to alleviate poverty. Earlier Grameen Motsho (Fisheries) Foundation (GMF) started on 06 February, 1994 as an independent organization which continued with its community aquaculture till 2000 to provide additional income to the resource poor. In order to more additional income to them for sustainable livelihood GMF decided to add livestock to fisheries and executed an integrated fish-crop-livestock and dairy development program. In this process the title of Grameen Motsho Foundation was changed to as Grameen Motsho O Pashusampad (Fisheries & Livestock) Foundation (GMPF).
The aims and objectives of the GMPF are to contribute to national efforts for poverty alleviation by providing appropriate Program for sustainable rural development by promoting an integrated fish-crop-livestock dairy development farming system. The main objectives are-
GMPF incorporated Community Livestock and Dairy Development Program (CLDDP) to promote sustainable livelihood through microcredit for livestock to the beneficiaries. Under this program GMPF provide complete support service for animal vaccination, AI services etc. To supply quality animal feed at fair price feed mills were set up. To ensure get fair price for the milk mini dairy enterprises (chilling plant) were establish. Self insurance system provided to compensate for the death of the cow so that the beneficiaries do not face any serious difficulty in livelihood.
GMPF has a plan to expand its poverty alleviation program all over Bangladesh.
The GRAINE mission is to contribute to improving the economic and social conditions of the poor in Burkina Faso’s rural communities, specifically by bringing adapted financial products to women.
Created in 2006 through funding from the NGO Catholic Relief Services and the Catholic Diocese (OCADES) in Burkina Faso, the GRAINE program was an initiative to bring the successful micro-credit methodology started in 2000 in nearby Senegal (WPF partner CAURIE Microfinance) to Burkina Faso.
GRAINE opened 2 branch offices in its first year- one in the northern section of the country and one in the south- reaching both Muslim and Christian populations in the country.
GRAINE’s methodology focuses on having trained local Credit Agents circulate among communities and provide basic credit and savings services directly in communities (no need for clients to visit GRAINE branch offices). Through locally organized village loan groups which can guarantee each other’s loans in lieu of providing collateral, the Credit Agents manage small loans and help group members with voluntary savings accounts. Small “service points” near the communities are where Credit Agents work from so as to always remain close to their clients.
In 2009 GRAINE successfully became an independent MFI under the laws of Burkina Faso, and became registered as a limited liability company (as is common of independent MFIs in Burkina Faso law) that same year.
From 2009, GRAINE set as its goal to reach self sufficiency within 5 years at the end of 2014.
Grameen America is a microfinance organization established in 2008 whose mission is to help alleviate poverty through entrepreneurship by providing loans, savings programs, credit establishment, and other services to the working poor, especially women, in the United States. Grameen America is built upon the success of the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, founded by Professor Muhammad Yunus, joint winners of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Grameen America provides loans at reasonable rates enabling borrowers to avoid predatory lenders whose extremely high interest rates deny the working poor the full benefits of their labor. Whole Planet Foundation partners with Grameen America in Queens, New York City, Omaha, Nebraska and Indianapolis, Indiana, with plans to support future branches in Oakland, California.
Grameen Aval Colombia was established as a nonprofit organization in May 2010 and developed as a Social Business whose vision is to make a change and eradicate poverty in our borrowers and their families by providing micro loans at minimum interest rates, offering access for people who can’t succeed in the traditional financial system. Grameen Aval Colombia began its operation with 12 women members and disbursed USD $2,719. It has reached 2,980 members in 4 branches and disbursed USD $90,8385 among them. Microloans are used for income-generating activities to improve existing business.
Grameen Aval Colombia supports the community and uses the methodology of the Grameen Bank - collateral free microcredit.
Grameen Ghana has a vision driven by its ambition to see a Ghanaian society free from poverty and injustice, and in which all people enjoy their right to life with dignity. Grameen Ghana is a registered not for profit organization created in 2001 and began offering group loans to rural community members, mostly women, in 2003.
In spite of the large role that microfinance institutions have been playing in the southern Ghanaian economy, Grameen Ghana’s mission is to increase its visibility and services in the poor and rural communities of northern Ghana. Grameen Ghana is based in the small northern town of Tamale, and accesses communities across the northern half of the country.
Grameen Ghana offers basic credit services in rural communities otherwise disconnected from the formal banking sector following the group lending, collateral-free methodology made famous by Mohammed Yunus and the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh.
Grameen Trust, a sister organization to Grameen Bank, is a registered non-profit NGO in Bangladesh, established in 1989 by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and father of microcredit, Professor Muhammad Yunus. Grameen Trust was designed to promote the Grameen principles of extending collateral free microcredit to the poor to alleviate poverty. Grameen Trust provides technical assistance, training, funding and other support to 138 partners in 37 countries, including directly implemented BOT (buy, operate and transfer) projects in seven countries. Whole Planet Foundation partners with Grameen Trust in Costa Rica, Guatemala, India, and Turkey, and Grameen Trust was instrumental in launching the microlending project in Indonesia that is now operated by KOMIDA.
Grameen Trust Models
Grameen Trust supports local organizations to implement their microcredit programs. But in special situations, Grameen Trust goes for direct implementation under its Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) model. A Build - Operate - Transfer (BOT) / Build - Operate - Manage (BOM) / Build - Operate - Own (BOO) project is a direct implementation approach to set up a microfinance program following the credit delivery and recovery mechanism of Grameen Bank in a specific location. Grameen Trust has introduced BOT/BOM/BOO programs with a view to establish sustainable microcredit programs in situations where many poor people need to be served and the prevalent environment is not quite friendly to establishing this kind of programs. This program has proved to be effective as it significantly reduces the time of establishment and implementation of the program while maintaining cost effectiveness simultaneously. GT deploys its experienced staff to set up BOT/ BOM/BOO programs that drastically lowers implementation time as well as training cost. Whole Planet Foundation supports Grameen Trust on BOT projects in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Turkey, a Grameen Trust BOM project with Grameen America in Queens, New York, Omaha, Nebraska and Indianapolis, Indiana in the United States, and a Grameen Trust BOO in Kerala, India.
Whole Planet Foundation has partnered with INMAA to provide financial services to rural populations in those remote southeastern portions of Morocco. INMAA began operations in 1999 and has reached 6,000 people in 25 microlending branches, all focusing on women. Whole Planet Foundation has provided $369,000 to reach 1,000 new clients through access to microcredit services. By supporting INMAA, Whole Planet Foundation will be partnering with an institution focused solely on rural credit, with a strong management team and newly created internal auditing and monitoring systems.
Jamii Bora Trust is a microlending organization which seeks to assist its members in getting out of poverty and building better lives for themselves and their families. At the core of Jamii Bora Trust is a fundamental belief that any family, however poor or hopeless, is capable of getting themselves out of poverty. Jamii Bora Trust takes a uniquely comprehensive approach to helping strengthen and utilize all the skills, determination, and hard work of the people of Kenya to build a better nation through better families. Whole Planet Foundation partnered with Jamii Bora Trust and Unitus in the Nyeri province of Kenya where Whole Foods Market sources coffee.
KIEDF demonstrates that philanthropy can be deployed efficiently into the private sector to spur economic development, create employment opportunity and verify that small and micro lending is a small risk. Since 1994, KIEDF's small-business loan programs ($5,000 - $300,000) and microfinance loans ($1,000 - $5,000) have facilitated over $270,000,000 of new financing to over 9,500 new and expanding small, medium-sized and micro businesses, and created and sustained more than 45,000 new and existing private sector jobs, directly affecting over 150,000 Israelis. KIEDF is recognized throughout Israel as the preeminent private source of credit and business services.
KIEDF established microfinance services and the SAWA direct lending program in 2006. SAWA (Together) provides direct micro-loans of $500–$2,500, given individually or through solidarity group methodology to women for the development of their businesses. Field staff provide ongoing business training and technical assistance for SAWA clients.
Since inception in 2006, SAWA has distributed close to 2000 loans totaling almost $3 million. The program has supported the development of over 1500 microenterprises.
SAWA helps Israel's most challenged population create independent income-generating activities. We focused on Bedouin women of the Negev in the first years of operation. The program began initial expansion to serve Arab Israeli women in northern Israel and Jewish Israeli women at the close of 2010 with plans of further expansion also to include clients in central Israel in part due to the Whole Planet Foundation's generous support.
KOMIDA is an establishment of microfinance institution with Grameen Bank system that engaged in society to women's empowerment. KOMIDA program which adopt Grameen Bank system was started in 2005, to help tsunami victims in Aceh. It began with the established YAMIDA (Yayasan Mitra Dhuafa). YAMIDA was established in mid 2004 as the aim to build professional and sustainable MFIs in Indonesia. The achievement of YAMIDA in conducted training MFIs to microfinance institutions in various regions. Because of the barrier of government regulations that said the activity of savings and loans should not be made by a foundation. Yayasan in English means a foundation. So, YAMIDA has established a legal cooperative firm in 2008 named KOMIDA. KOMIDA is a place to perform activities of saving and loans. YAMIDA is a place to conduct training, institutional strengthening and mentoring for those interested, as well as the poor customers throughout Indonesia. Our idea to establish KOMIDA was because we wanted to empower the poor community, especially women by developing professional and sustainable microfinance institution.
We choose poor women as a target because:
1. They do not have access to get venture capital from formal macro finance institutions.
2. By getting venture capital is expected to make the division of labor-with-household will make more balanced and equitable.
3. Women tend to be more responsible with their venture capital.
4. Women's priorities are family needs and education for their children.
Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.
Since 1979, Mercy Corps has provided $2.2 billion in assistance to people in 109 nations. The agency’s global programs are supported by headquarters in North America and Europe and field offices in some of the world's most troubled and challenging regions. Last year, IT helped 19 million people in more than 36 countries turn crisis into opportunity.
Mercy Corps helps communities catalyze the change they want to see. That’s because no one is more motivated or better equipped to create change than the person whose life and future is at stake. It is their potential, their energy, and their ideas that ultimately will turn crisis into opportunity. Around the world, 95 percent of ITS team members are nationals of the countries where they work. Some are even former beneﬁciaries themselves. They personify the agency’s core belief in local solutions to local problems.
For 32 years, in the midst of economic collapse, political transitions, armed conflict, and natural disasters, Mercy Corps has been helping millions of individuals; families and communities turn crises into opportunities for sustainable, positive change. Where people are thrown into the chaos of war, economic collapse or natural disaster, Mercy Corps provides immediate, sustaining humanitarian assistance, always with the goal of hastening recovery. As the most urgent needs are met, IT immediately moves toward programming that pursues longer-term stability and prosperity.
Mercy Corps believes that solving social problems in the developing world requires blending sustainable, entrepreneurial strategies with a deep knowledge of local culture and context. Mercy Corps puts first the expressed needs of the people IT serves, partnering to create durable solutions that make sense in the community context.
The MicroLoan Foundation's mission is to significantly reduce poverty and inequality in rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. It does this through the provision of microfinance services: small loans; specialized business training and ongoing personal mentoring; whilst facilitating saving and financial planning to women who are completely excluded from financial services, the formal economy or employment. Through these services the clients develop small businesses, which generate profits, furnish their families’ needs, and enable them to secure lasting independence from charity. MicroLoan believes it is a leading example in socially-driven non-profit microfinance. It has a ground-breaking Social Performance Management (SPM) program that enables the organization to maximize the social and financial outcomes for clients and ensure it actively maintains its mission to help the poorest people. The organization is different from many other microfinance institutions by:
• Working in the poorest, most isolated rural locations
• Developing long-term relationships with our clients; building their capacity so they are able to enter formal financial/employment sectors
• Lending very small amounts. Small loans can have a huge impact in the communities in which we work
• Delivering services through local staff, enabling it to create long-term sustainable change
MicroLoan began operating in 2002 with a $16,000 donation, one Malawian employee working from a garage with a bicycle. Since then it has grown to its current 23 branch network across three countries. The charity aims to replicate its robust model across sub-Saharan Africa, benefiting many more women and families. In Africa the charity employs 170 local staff (as at 2011) and supports almost 30,000 women per annum. Since starting, MicroLoan has helped over 110,000 women directly, bringing benefits to over 500,000 of their children in the process. In June 2011, MicroLoan was awarded the Hanson Wade Microfinance Award for its commitment to professionalization in microfinance lending.
Moris Rasik (MR) is a microfinance program, which has been operating in East Timor since November 2000 and follows a modified version of the Grameen Bank methodology of microfinance. MR is the largest and most effective microfinance program in Timor, in outreach, portfolio size and portfolio quality. MR had an active client base of over 10,000 at the beginning of 2008. Its portfolio was $2.24M and it held over $780K in client savings. In August 2007 it broke even for the first time, and ended 2007 with an operating profit of $22,000. MR is having a macro impact on the East Timorese economy, and is instrumental in stimulating the overall development of its rural economy. Whole Planet Foundation partners with Moris Rasik in various regions of East Timor.
Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Inc. (NWTF) began in 1984 as a non-government organization (NGO) that aimed to help women achieve self-sufficiency and self-reliance, particularly in Negros Occidental’s low-income and depressed urban and rural communities. It sought to increase women’s awareness of their economic potential, to increase their skills and productivity and to improve their quality of life.
In 1989, NWTF accepted the challenge of replicating the Grameen Bank credit methodology and established Project Dungganon, which means Honorable in the local dialect. With this group-based credit assistance, NWTF continues to enable many of the poorest in the rural areas move themselves out of poverty.
In 2000, NWTF started Project Kasanag (Light that offers Hope) as a credit assistance designed to assist urban micro-entrepreneurs engaged in manufacturing, trading, buy and sell, service and shop-keeping to enable them to improve their quality of life and be instrumental in the economic progress of the community.
In 2005, NWTF courageously accepted new challenges and broadened its outreach by expanding to farther areas and opening the Dungganon Bank (A Microfinance Thrift Bank) in order to provide its clients with a formal banking facility as they grow and scale-up their business activities.
NWTF continuously innovate many client-responsive products and services geared to improve the quality of life of its clients. These client-oriented services include medical and life insurance packages, training programs, scholarships and education loans, community-based environmental protection projects, and so many more.
Today, NWTF with over 50 branches in the Philippine islands of Negros, Panay, Cebu, Bohol, Samar, Leyte and Palawan, continues to be guided by its vision of becoming a leading and fully sustainable microfinance institution renowned for its commitment and professionalism to provide the poorest with real and meaningful opportunities towards building a future where every Filipino is truly “Dungganon”.
One Acre Fund serves subsistence farmers, who make up 75 percent of the world’s poor. It provides farmers with a “market bundle” of services—including group formation, seed and fertilizer, and education—and are repaid for those services. One Acre Fund currently serves over 54,000 farm families with more than 270,000 people living in those families. Founded only five years ago, One Acre Fund has been recognized by prestigious early-stage grantmakers such as the Echoing Green, Draper Richards, and Skoll Foundations. In 2010 and 2011, One Acre Fund won the FT/IFC Sustainable Finance Award for Achievement in Basic Needs Financing.
Première Agence de Microfinance (PAMF) was established by the Aga Khan Development Network in 2006 with the goal to reduce poverty, reduce the vulnerability of the poor and alleviate economic and social exclusion. PAMF’s ultimate aim is to improve the quality of life by helping people raise incomes, become self-reliant and gain the skills needed to access mainstream financial markets. PAMF currently partners with Whole Planet Foundation in Cote d’Ivoire and Madagascar and supports group loans mainly in rural areas. These loans allow low-income clients to grow their small businesses; purchase agricultural inputs like fertilizer, seed, and animal feed; and store crops for sale later in the season. PAMF also offers clients a savings account with no fees or minimum balance requirements. Every loan client is offered a free deposit account to encourage savings.
Pro Mujer was founded in 1990. Pro Mujer Nicaragua is the second organization developed by Pro Mujer, a microfinance network dedicated to empowering Latin American women to lift themselves out of poverty through access to microfinance and health services and training. With operations in Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru, the network serves an estimated 202,000 women, and over one million children and extended family members. In Nicaragua alone, Pro Mujer currently serves more than 27,000 clients. Whole Planet Foundation currently partners with Pro Mujer in the Esteli-Condega region of Nicaragua.
The aim of The Small Enterprise Foundation, SEF, is to work towards the elimination of poverty and unemployment. This SEF does through the provision of credit for self-employment, combined with savings mobilisation and a methodology that substantially increases the poor’s chances of success in their micro-enterprises. The organisation follows a group lending approach similar to that pioneered by the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh.
SEF is a registered non-profit organization and currently operates 41 branches in South Africa’s rural areas. The organization now works with 75,000 poor people, 99% of whom are women. Since inception it has disbursed more than $200 million in 900,000 loans for self-employment. At the same time SEF has achieved remarkable performance in terms of loan losses. From inception to date total bad debt write-offs have amounted to less than 0.3% of the cumulative amount disbursed.
The typical enterprises which are started by SEF clients include peddling of fruit and vegetables and new or used clothing, small convenience shops, and dressmaking.
SEF has gained considerable international recognition for its poverty-targeting methodology and its success in reaching and ensuring positive impact on the very poor. The organisation’s poverty targeting tool, PWR, was one of the first such tools officially recognised and promoted by the Microcredit Summit Campaign.
As confirmation of its focus on ensuring positive social impact SEF has received an excellent α (Alpha) Social Rating from the independent, international microfinance rating firm M-CRIL, Micro-credit Ratings International Limited, the world’s leading microfinance rating agency.
In 2010 SEF was rated as the top microfinance organisation worldwide to give donations to! This recommendation comes from GiveWell an independent, non-profit, charity evaluator based in New York.
SPBD is the Pacific Islands’ leading and first successful micro-enterprise development organization. Founded in 2000 by Greg Casagrande, SPBD has worked with over 10,000 aspiring micro-entrepreneurs throughout the Pacific Island nation of Samoa. Today SPBD is a profitable, financially-sustainable micro-enterprise development organization dedicated to helping underprivileged Samoan women start and grow small income generating businesses so that they can improve their families’ living conditions.
Products and Services
SPBD provides training, unsecured credit and ongoing guidance and motivation to poor Samoan women for the purpose of helping them start and grow small income generating businesses. Once these businesses are made a success, SPBD also provides financing for basic housing improvements and for childhood education. SPBD also provides a simple savings service, a loan insurance product, and a death benefit insurance (DBI) that help the clients and their families in time of financial crisis.
The Samoan Market
According to the UNDP, Samoa is one of the world’s 50 least developed countries. It has a population of approximately 190,000. 98% of the population lives on one of the two main islands of Upolu or Savaii. Samoa is predominantly rural. The population is predominantly of Samoan heritage. Both Samoan and English are official languages of Samoa.
SPBD works in nearly every village (>250) on the islands of Upolu and Savaii as well as on the road-less island of Manono. SBPD’s main office is located in Samoa’s capital of Apia. It has a satellite office in Saleologa in Savaii.
TYM Fund was founded in 1992 by the Vietnam Women’s Union in order to help implement the poverty alleviation programme of the Government. Originally, it followed the Grameen banking model adapted to the specific context of Vietnam, then in 2010, after pilot and transformation phase, it is applying ASA Model now.
Regarding the current services that TYM is now providing, TYM’s members are beneficial from loans, savings and micro-insurance, each of which are diversified and continuously adjusted to meet clients’ demands.
Working with the mission of “Improve the quality of life and status of poor and low income women”, currently TYM has nearly 61,000 women members in 10 Northern Vietnamese provinces, who have an income around the poverty line defined by the Vietnamese Government. 30-40 members form a center, where loan applications are discussed, repayments and savings collected and simultaneously, where clients receive training on the policies and procedures of TYM and on basic business and financial skills on weekly or monthly basis. The expenses for such activities are covered by the surplus of the organization.
In terms of organization, as per May 2011, TYM has a total professional staff of 306 working in the Hanoi Head Office, which has 26 regular staff and 5 internal auditors, and in 51 outlets in 10 provinces. 156 Technical Officers (loan officers) each serve more than 350 members.
In August 2010, it has been officially granted the licence to become the first registered microfinance institution in Vietnam. This new status has created conditions for accelerated growth. TYM is now allowed to tap domestic funding resources and raise voluntary savings from its members and the public. New challenges arise from higher demands by more mature clients, supervision by SBV and growing linkages with lenders and partners all over the world. TYM will focus on capacity building and training of staff, product development, improvements of governance and organisation and diversification of its funding sources in order to reach its target of 135,000 clients by 2014. While professionalizing as an institution, TYM will maintain its social commitment to helping low income women in close cooperation with the Women’s Unions.
In May 2009 the Women and Family Development Fund (WFDF) of the Lao Women’s Union (LWU) was established.
The vision of WFDF is to become a leading provider of financial services to low income women and their families in Laos. Based on its roots in the Lao Women’s Union, the aim is to combine social responsibility as well as professional excellence and be a model best practice microfinance institution.
The WFDF uses the so-called “Grameen Bank Model” as a blue print for its operation, which has been adapted to the conditions and circumstances of Laos. Lao people have a strong propensity to save and therefore the organization puts a strong emphasis on providing savings and deposit accounts as an essential part of its operational model. August 2011 marked a turning point in the young history of WFDF as the organization started to be able to achieve full coverage of its operational costs.
Since its inception, WFDF has expanded into three different Provinces in Laos, providing training services, savings and loan products to its female client base, who engage in a variety of income generating activities, ranging from raising livestock, running noodle soup shops to selling handicraft products to name only a few.
The organization has experienced rapid growth over the past two years, which is testimony to the large unmet demand of financial services in rural areas of Laos. Customers appreciate the un-bureaucratic, fast and reliable services provided. WFDF does not require conventional physical collateral to secure loans but relies solely on guarantees provided by fellow group members of loan applicants.
With the support of the Whole Planet Foundation WFDF will be able to continue to roll out new branches into remote and underserviced areas in the country in an effort to achieve its vision and mission.
Ed Bland, President & COO of Unitus
By working together, Whole Planet Foundation, Unitus and Jamii Bora Trust can help spur the development of innovation in the (microfinance) field and ensure the power of microfinance reaches those who need it most.