This project will support the creation of a microfinance fund for girls who are coming out of poverty with our main project. These girls were living in extreme poverty 2 years back and are now generating a healthy stream of income. They now need a heavier investment: Middle sized low-interest loans to complement the work they have done so far and make sure they are out of poverty forever. Right now, its very hard for them to save or borrow with traditional microfinance institutions.
Access to credit without property is hard to come by, in Cameroon and in any country in the world. Because of limited access to credit and extreme difficulty to save, entrepreneurs living in low income conditions cant grow their businesses. Although they know that if they could, they would put that money to work tomorrow. Instead, businesses stagnate, and economic shocks (family problems) reduce working capital or keep it all the same. This affects women much more, as they hardly own property.
This project will create a microfinance fund that will target girls that are just coming out of poverty, growing from 0 and ready to take up more capital after building enough experience. Even without collateral, there are strong incentives to pay back the loan (membership to our program, which has attached periodic business grants and community pressure). Beneficiaries in our prior attempts have always managed to repay, even with considerable unexpected problems (if anything, a bit late).
If the funds requested are raised, this fund will give out more than 30-15 loans in one year (changing size), and another set every year after that. If the pilot is successful, we will increase capital of this fund with another microproject and other sources, tripling the number of beneficiaries by the second year. This is an idea worth investing, as impact will multiply and generate income for hundreds of women and their families.