Microfinance for marginalized communities, Mexico

 
$33,677
$6,323
Raised
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Oct 1, 2010

August Project Update – Business ideas flourish

Women at the bakery refine their business plan
Women at the bakery refine their business plan

Participants of IMIFAP’s “I want to, I can” microfinance programs in Hidalgo continue to utilize the skills learned in the June workshop. Last month, IMIFAP personnel visited the communities to help more community bank members operationalize their business ideas. Below you will find examples of these new, exciting projects that soon will be underway. Plans for the growth of the bakery and creation of a pharmacy mentioned last month are also progressing.

In Ixmiquilpan, Hidalgo, over 30 members of “Banco C.L.C.” are excited about their plans to install a water purification system in their community. The local water quality is so poor that boiling the water does not make it drinkable, and purified water brought to Ixmiquilpan is expensive. The members of Banco C.L.C. are creating a business that will benefit the people of Ixmiquilpan by providing access to a more affordable source of potable water. The project will also generate profit for the bank members, increasing their income and improving the lives of their families. Banco C.L.C. needs a loan of approximately 12,500 USD (160,000 pesos) to begin the project.

During August in the remote community Los Fresnos, Hidalgo, members of “Bancofresnos” developed plans to create or improve four individual microenterprises: increasing the variety of products at a small convenient store, producing more tortillas for sale, selling tamales, and raising sheep. Each project needs a start-up loan of about 400 USD ($5,000 pesos) and the members of Bancofresnos have saved enough money to provide these loans internally, allowing them to start their small businesses without depending on third parties. They will benefit from paying lower interest rates on their loans, and the interest earned will help the bank grow and provide more loans in the future.

We are excited to soon see these businesses get off the ground as program participants continue to save money, improve business plans, and utilize the skills gained in IMIFAP “I want to, I can” workshops to better their lives and their communities.

Our project participants thank you for your continued support!

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Los participantes de los programas de microfinanzas de IMIFAP en Hidalgo siguen utilizando las habilidades que aprendieron en el taller de junio. El mes pasado, los facilitadores de IMIFAP visitaron las comunidades para ayudar a los miembros de los bancos comunitarios a desarrollar y llevar a cabo sus ideas de negocio. A continuación, presentaremos ejemplos de los nuevos proyectos que pronto se llevarán a cabo; los planes para la farmacia y la panadería que mencionamos el mes pasado ya están en marcha. En Ixmiquilpan, más de 30 miembros del “Banco C.L.C.” están colaborando en una iniciativa para instalar un purificador de agua en su comunidad ya que en esta comunidad la calidad del agua es tan mala que ni hirviéndola se puede utilizar para el consumo y la agua purificada que se vende en Ixmiquilpan es muy cara. Por ello, los miembros de Banco C.L.C. están creando un negocio que beneficie a todo el pueblo de Ixmiquilpan ya que proveerá el acceso local a una fuente de agua potable barata. El proyecto también generará ganancias para los miembros del banco, aumentará sus sueldos y mejorará la vida de sus familias.

Para lograr todo lo anterior, el Banco C.L.C. necesita un préstamo de aproximadamente 160,000 pesos (12,500 dólares) de inicio para arrancar este proyecto.

Durante el mes de agosto en la comunidad lejana de Los Fresnos, Hidalgo, miembros del banco comunitario “Bancofresnos” desarrollaron planes para crear y mejorar cuatro microempresas individuales (aumentar la variedad de productos de una tienda de abarrotes, producir más tortillas para su venta, vender tamales y criar borregos). En este caso, para arrancar cada uno de estos proyectos, se requiere una inversión de $5,000 pesos (400 dólares), y los miembros de Bancofresnos han ahorrado suficiente dinero en el banco para poder proveer ellos mismos los préstamos a sus socios sin depender de ninguna otra institución o persona. Asimismo, gozarán del beneficio de pagar tasas de interés más bajas, y que el interés que ganen ayude a su vez a que el banco crezca y pueda brindar más préstamos en el futuro.

Estamos muy orgullosos de que estas iniciativas pronto se conviertan en realidad y que los participantes del programa sigan ahorrando, perfeccionando sus planes de negocio y utilizando las habilidades aprendidas en los talleres “Yo quiero, yo puedo” de IMIFAP para mejorar sus vidas y sus comunidades.

¡Los participantes del proyecto te agradecen el apoyo continúo!

Aug 17, 2010

July Project Update - From banks to businesses

A woman works at her community bank´s business
A woman works at her community bank´s business

Utilizing the skills learned in last month’s workshop, the members of community banks in Hidalgo are now planning how to begin or grow their businesses. As part of the project, we have provided guidance in preparing a solid business plan since new entrepreneurs are often unable to calculate startup costs, maintain their business, or implement marketing strategies. Below you will find specific examples of the initiatives supported by this project.

In the community of El Vithe, Hidalgo nine women make up a bank called “El Colchoncito.” They have been operating a bakery for two years but had not developed a business plan or calculated costs and profits. Their small client base consists of approximately 15 houses in the community. They are now planning to purchase a vehicle to be able to more broadly distribute their products to communities that do not have bakeries. This could potentially increase sales by up to 400%.

The members of the community bank “La Superación,” near Ixmiquilpan, Hidalgo, wish to start a rural pharmacy. There are currently no pharmacies in their community and residents are forced to travel long distances in order to obtain medicines. The bank has obtained 40% of the resources necessary for the investment but still needs to research the legal requirements for opening a pharmacy as well as calculate the monthly costs.

We expect the first businesses from these community banks to be functioning in Hidalgo within a few more months. Thank you so much for your support!

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Utilizando las habilidades que aprendieron en el taller del mes pasado, los bancos comunitarios en Hidalgo se encuentran planeando como empezar o hacer crecer sus negocios. Como parte del proyecto, les otorgamos la asesoría para realizar un plan de negocio sólido; la mayoría de las veces los nuevos empresarios no saben como calcular los gastos de arranque o mantenimiento de su negocio ni mucho menos sobre técnicas de mercadotecnia.

A continuación les compartimos algunas iniciativas que son apoyadas por este proyecto.

En la comunidad de El Vithe, Hidalgo nueve mujeres forman el banco llamado El Colchoncito. Desde hace dos años cuentan con una panadería pequeña, pero nunca habían realizado un plan de negocios ni mucho menos habían calculado sus gastos y ganancias. Actualmente, la panadería cuenta solamente con las 15 casas de su comunidad como clientes por lo cual, planean comprar un vehículo para distribuir los productos en comunidades aledañas que no cuentan con una panadería y en donde las mujeres podrían aumentar sus ventas hasta en un 400%.

Cerca de la ciudad de Ixmiquilpan, Hidalgo, viven los socios del banco La Superación. Su objetivo primordial es contar con una una farmacia rural que les facilite el acceso al servicio de salud y evite los largos caminos por recorrer con tal de conseguir medicamentos. El banco ya ha conseguido un 40% de la inversión pero les hace falta investigar los requisitos legales para abrir una farmacia y calcular los gastos mensuales.

Esperamos que en algunos meses las primeras empresas de bancos comunitarios en Hidalgo estén funcionando. ¡Muchas gracias por tu apoyo!

Bank members meet to discuss their business plan
Bank members meet to discuss their business plan

Links:

Jul 7, 2010

June Project Update- New banks and survey results

One of the skill-development workshops in Hidalgo
One of the skill-development workshops in Hidalgo

We are excited to report that the number of community banks formed as part of this project has now increased to 11! (A quick description of the term “community bank”. We define it as “groups of ordinary people who are saving with the help of the project in order to start small businesses.”)

The numbers are in and the average amount of weekly savings per person in these 11 banks has been 37 pesos, which is almost three dollars. This amounts to about 581 pesos, or 46 dollars, saved by each bank each week. It is a lot of money for our beneficiaries and we are very proud of their achievement!

Now the community banks are on their second savings cycle, which ends in September. In the end of every cycle, the groups check their saving rates with the help of the project facilitators. To ensure the success of the banks and the new entrepreneurs, members also participate in training workshops. In the end of May and beginning of June we gave the bank members three workshops to develop their technical as well as personal skills. They received training in team work and financial and communication skills. They also learned about self-consciousness, decision making and gender equality.

We appreciate the help of our supporters; your generosity makes the dreams of these budding business owners come true and allows them to take their future into their own hands. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nos sentimos muy entusiasmados de contarles que la cantidad de los bancos comunitarios formados en este proyecto ha crecido a 11! (Los bancos comunitarios son grupos de personas que quieren ahorrar dinero con el apoyo del proyecto para empezar su propia microempresa)

Ya tenemos los numeros y cada persona ha ahorrado un promedio de 37 pesos cada semana. Esto hace un total de 581 pesos en cada banco semanalmente. ¡Es mucho dinero para nuestros beneficiarios y nos sentimos muy orgullosos por su esfuerzo!

Ahora los bancos comunitarios están en su segundo ciclo de ahorros, que terminará en septiembre. Al final de cada ciclo los grupos verifican sus ahorros con el apoyo de los facilitadores del proyecto.

Para garantizar el éxito de los bancos y los empresarios nuevos, no solo reciben consejos de nuestros facilitadores sino que además participan en talleres. A finales de mayo y principios de junio organizamos tres talleres para desarrollar las capacidades técnicas así como las habilidades para la vida de los miembros de los bancos comunitarios. Los beneficiarios recibieron capacitación para trabajar en equipo y desarrollar sus capacidades de comunicación y habilidades financieras. Además aprendieron sobre autoconocimiento, toma de decisiones y equidad de género.

Apreciamos el apoyo de cada uno de ustedes; su generosidad ayuda a cumplir los sueños de estos futuros microempresarios y les permite tomar el futuro en sus propias manos.

Participants after a skill-development workshop
Participants after a skill-development workshop

Links:


Attachments:
    May 25, 2010

    May Project Update- New banks and survey results!

    Panaderia (Bakery)
    Panaderia (Bakery)

    What were 2 community banks last time we sent out an update, with your support has now grown to 10 community banks in the Mexican state of Hidalgo. This means that almost 150 families are benefitting. At the start of this month the groups closed their first savings cycle, saving for a range of development projects (e.g. implementation of a community-wide water purification system, construction of a rural pharmacy, starting a bakery and a sheep farm) which they will launch once they have accumulated sufficient capital. Over this savings cycle the groups made steady progress through weekly meetings during which they discussed projects and managed savings. Your donations are supporting these efforts by sending field-workers to help manage logistics and overcome project challenges.

    Additionally, the results are in for the survey we had just undertaken, and we want to share it with you to give you a picture of the people you are supporting. Of all bank members surveyed, 8% were under the age of 18, 89% were between the ages of 18 – 65, and 2.5% were older than 65. The relative high percentage of minors means that these young members are become more responsible with their money by learning the importance of saving at an early age. The majority of the participants only finished secondary school, and these families earn around $340 dollars a month (which include all types of economic activities, aid, and remittances from abroad). From that, they manage to save about $23 dollars a month. When asked what they would do in the case of an emergency, only 11.7% said they had enough funds saved up that they would be able to utilize, the rest said they would ask a family member, neighbor, friend or bank for a loan, or would sell their possessions.

    Next month we will provide a second training for community promoters, this time in communities in the northern part of Hidalgo state. 150 promoters have already signed up. Help us fund this training by making a donation.

    Links:

    Apr 12, 2010

    March Project Update!

    We wanted to take a minute to thank you for your support and to update you on the progress of our microfinance initiative in Hidalgo. March proved to be a very successful month for the program. IMIFAP staff visited various banks and micro-enterprises post workshop to provide support, answer questions, and observe the progress of saving and planning. In one community, two new banks are being formed, each with 14 investors. The groups are excited and motivated to begin saving! In another community, 9 women from a bakery have been saving for three weeks. In various other communities, business plans are underway to calculate the costs the micro-enterprise, the investments, and the financial gain. Community members appear ambitious and motivated. During this visit, IMIFAP staff also administered evaluation questionnaires to community members to gauge progress, and we will share the results soon! Thank you for all your support.

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