Microloans empower Colombian parents

Nov 21, 2012

The Promise of Transformation in Colombia

As of June 30, 2012, Opportunity Colombia has active loans to 7,445 families. While Opportunity was focused on opening the new financial institution and the development of savings products which will soon be introduced, transformation activities continued in full force. In a bold new move toward innovative client transformation practices, in 2012 Opportunity Colombia AGAPÉ will become a parallel NGO working alongside the Finance Company. Jim Frantz will lead this organization which will integrate the existing transformation activities and develop new ones to complement the bank’s financial services.

Empowering youth through experiential training. In accordance with Opportunity Colombia’s commitment to create a better future for the next generation, its Youth Entrepreneurship program continues to make remarkable progress as it trains and empowers a motivated group of 440 of tomorrow’s leaders. Of the 440 participants, 223 youth finalized their training and group trial businesses while an additional 143 young adults have already taken the step to start a business employing what they have learned based on an approved business plan. The program operates in Sincelejo, Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cartagena and Magangue.

“This project changed my life in respect to how I think and express myself, and leaving my shyness behind. It helped me learn the ways and strategies to begin a business, to identify what I want for my life.”   - Edith Guerrero, Cartagena

Holistic training for staff and clients. Loan officers deliver relevant training to clients within Trust Groups meetings. Four of the ten-disc DVD series have been delivered and the next four in the series were piloted this summer. The last two videos are in the final stages of development. Training themes include values, stewardship, generosity, budgeting, the importance of saving and basic business management skills. Staff and client response to the new videos has been unanimously positive.

The videos are fun and yet very clear about the activities and controls that need to be implemented to earn a profit. I now know it is good to have a daily budget. I didn’t understand this before and now I know exactly how to get started.”

Improving health and quality of life. Opportunity Colombia is committed to helping clients improve living conditions, resulting in better health, water supply, sanitation, and housing. AGAPÉ has provided loans to 127 families for home improvement, through its Techo y Piso (Roof and Floor) and Cocinas y Baños (Kitchens and Bathrooms) initiatives. Clients use the loans to make structural improvements to leaky roofs and wood or dirt floors resulting in a significant improvement in family health and quality of life.  



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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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Project Leader

Ian Haisley

Director of Online Strategy
Oak Brook, IL United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Microloans empower Colombian parents