"Sustainable access to microfinance helps alleviate poverty by generating income, creating jobs, allowing children to go to school, enabling families to obtain healthcare and empowering people to make the choices that best serve their needs" - Kofi Annan (former UN Secretary General)
Microfinance refers to financial services to the poor who have no assets to offer as collateral for loans.
Graceworks has completed two microfinance pilot schemes which have been an outstanding success with a 100% repayment rate. There are two types of loans – a rural loan which does not require payment for 12 months (to allow crops to be harvested and animals to mature) and commercial loans which produce immediate returns such as a tea shop, teaching classes and motor bike transport.
Graceworks has incorporated other services with the loan to benefit the recipient in skills and management. Training is given in business and financial management as most recipients have had little or no cash to budget and manage prior to receiving a loan. Every family member of the loan recipient receives free medical care.
The average loan is $150.00. When the borrower has repaid the loan they can reapply for another loan for a higher amount. All the borrowers from our pilot program have reapplied for another loan. All loans are funded by donors.
Gallery: Microfinance at Work:
Click the images for a larger version and caption.