Microfinance Funds Investors Report Second Quarter 2011
In looking for new partners, one of the most important questions we ask ourselves is “Where can our investments have the greatest impact?” In many cases, the answer is in organizations that provide quality non-financial services integrated with a well-run credit program, and yet remain off the radar screens of large funders due to their relatively small size.
Many of these organizations did not get their start by developing a microfinance program and then adding a few non-financial services; rather, they were organized to address social problems, and gradually developed credit products as just one of an array of solutions to these problems. Investing in these organizations allows Global Partnerships not only to invest where funding is most needed, but also where integrated solutions to poverty have been tested on a smaller scale and are ready to be rolled out on a larger scale with the help of international funders.
Global Partnerships recently invested in four such organizations, described below, through our Social Investment Fund 2010 (SIF 2010). All are small but growing enterprises that integrate services such as health education and business training with microcredit products, adding up to a business model that is both competitive and targeted at social impact.
Sembrar Sartawi (Bolivia): Offers low-cost credit to underserved communities working in rural agriculture. For a growing portion of clients, loans are combined with services such as access to crop inputs including fertilizer and seeds, discounted farm equipment and technical assistance.
Fundación Faces (Ecuador): Delivers credit in combination with health services, ranging from preventative education to access to medical consultation at negotiated discounts. Fundación Faces also provides access to basic business education, and has a small but impressive pilot project that brings credit to people with disabilities.
Fundación Campo (El Salvador): A microfinance institution extending credit to rural clients mainly involved in agricultural and livestock production at interest rates more than 10 percent lower than their peers in El Salvador (see the profile on page 5).
Aprocassi (Peru): A coffee cooperative in northern Peru owned by small-scale coffee producers, 100 percent of whom are fair trade certified. The coop improves prices and supports its members by developing relationships with coffee importers, certifying coffee production to fair trade and organic standards, and offering training and advisory services.
We at Global Partnerships are pleased to support our new partners and help them extend opportunity to the hard-working people they serve.