Microfinance program as part of the epicenter strategy

 

The microfinance program is a training, savings and credit program that supports the economic empowerment of women in Africa

 

Factsheet: Microfinance Program

 

 

Microfinance program

 

The Hunger Project’s microfinance program is managed by women and primarily helps women. It is a training, credit and savings program through which microcredits are distributed to groups of women and men and a savings culture is promoted.

 

The program acquires the financial means for economic independence and an official state certification to operate as a village bank. Small loans are primarily used for farm work and retail trade to successfully increase household income. With the microfinance program, women gain a strong voice in the community.

 

The core elements of the microfinance program are training, credit and savings programs: School education, microfinance training, income-generating workshops, loans and savings.

 

 

School Education

 

In order to participate in the microfinance program, potential applicants must pass a school exam and register their children at the school. Interested parties also have the opportunity to complete a school education free of charge at the Epicenter. They will be alphabetized, learn terms and topics related to finance, income and study the relevance of gender equality. Classes often follow a state curriculum, which consists of 12-18 months of instruction and ends with a degree.

 

Microfinance training

 

Microfinance training strengthens people in literacy, budgeting, credit management, leadership, accounting and business plan development. Since the Hunger Project provides loans to small groups that commit to each other to remain solvent in order to repay debts, they are also trained in group dynamics. In 2013 30 partners will be trained. In addition, a partnership with the “Maison de l’Entreprise du Burkina”, an expert company for microfinance training, will be established to train more partners (small farmers).

 

 

Income increasing workshops

 

Income-generating business initiatives include (but are not limited to): animal husbandry, fattening, retail, food processing (jellies, jams, juices, etc.), agriculture, candle making, bread baking, basket weaving and fish farming.

 

 

Loans and savings

 

Credits are approximately USD $70-$100 per participant upon completion of the training. Microfinance partners must save at least 10% of their loan. Participants are encouraged to raise their savings limit. In 2013, 3,071 loans are planned to be granted and 26,010 savings deposits will be made.

 

In addition, four rural banks in Burkina Faso are to be certified by the state in 2013; an important step towards independence

 

 

Successes

 

Since the establishment of the microfinance program in 1999, the loan portfolio has grown to approximately USD 2.9 million in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal and Uganda. By the end of 2011, 45,000 partners had saved a total of USD 1.6 million. Perhaps most importantly, the banks of 28 epicenters are certified by the state to operate their own independent, women-owned rural financial institutions.

 

Microfinance program as part of the epicenter strategy

 

The microfinance program is a training, savings and credit program that supports the economic empowerment of women in Africa

 

Factsheet: Microfinance Program

 

 

Microfinance program

 

The Hunger Project’s microfinance program is managed by women and primarily helps women. It is a training, credit and savings program through which microcredits are distributed to groups of women and men and a savings culture is promoted.

 

The program acquires the financial means for economic independence and an official state certification to operate as a village bank. Small loans are primarily used for farm work and retail trade to successfully increase household income. With the microfinance program, women gain a strong voice in the community.

 

The core elements of the microfinance program are training, credit and savings programs: School education, microfinance training, income-generating workshops, loans and savings.

 

 

School Education

 

In order to participate in the microfinance program, potential applicants must pass a school exam and register their children at the school. Interested parties also have the opportunity to complete a school education free of charge at the Epicenter. They will be alphabetized, learn terms and topics related to finance, income and study the relevance of gender equality. Classes often follow a state curriculum, which consists of 12-18 months of instruction and ends with a degree.

 

Microfinance training

 

Microfinance training strengthens people in literacy, budgeting, credit management, leadership, accounting and business plan development. Since the Hunger Project provides loans to small groups that commit to each other to remain solvent in order to repay debts, they are also trained in group dynamics. In 2013 30 partners will be trained. In addition, a partnership with the “Maison de l’Entreprise du Burkina”, an expert company for microfinance training, will be established to train more partners (small farmers).

 

 

Income increasing workshops

 

Income-generating business initiatives include (but are not limited to): animal husbandry, fattening, retail, food processing (jellies, jams, juices, etc.), agriculture, candle making, bread baking, basket weaving and fish farming.

 

 

Loans and savings

 

Credits are approximately USD $70-$100 per participant upon completion of the training. Microfinance partners must save at least 10% of their loan. Participants are encouraged to raise their savings limit. In 2013, 3,071 loans are planned to be granted and 26,010 savings deposits will be made.

 

In addition, four rural banks in Burkina Faso are to be certified by the state in 2013; an important step towards independence

 

 

Successes

 

Since the establishment of the microfinance program in 1999, the loan portfolio has grown to approximately USD 2.9 million in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal and Uganda. By the end of 2011, 45,000 partners had saved a total of USD 1.6 million. Perhaps most importantly, the banks of 28 epicenters are certified by the state to operate their own independent, women-owned rural financial institutions.

 

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