My favorite non-profit organization that gives micro-loans to women: FINCA International, see their website at: http://www.villagebanking.org/ :
FINCA provides financial services to the world’s poorest families so they can create their own jobs, raise household incomes, and improve their standard of living. We deliver these services through a global network of locally managed, self-supporting institutions.
Focus on Women:
Although FINCA does not discriminate, it targets women clients because they are the least able to access credit, and because women with children are typically the poorest segment of the poor. Of the 1.3 billion people living in poverty worldwide, women account for 70 percent. In the developing world, and even in the United States, a woman's chances of receiving credit are markedly lower than a man's, and yet, in an increasing number of families, the woman provides a substantial portion—or all—of the family's income.
Believing that the poor lacked neither ambition nor skill, but simply resources, John (Hatch, founder) developed a philosophy he has yet to abandon: “Give poor communities the opportunity, and then get out of the way!” This spirit created what became known as the village banking method. This approach gave the poor the opportunity to obtain loans without collateral—the poor’s main obstacle to accessing credit—at interest rates they could afford. But perhaps most important, it gave them control: the power to collectively disburse, invest and collect loan capital as they saw fit.
Putting the Poor in Charge:
This level of autonomy for poor entrepreneurs had never been matched, not even by the Grameen Bank, which was, and continues to be, a leader among microfinance institutions. The results among FINCA’s earliest borrowers were increased earnings, better family nutrition, high repayment rates, and increased empowerment—results that have been replicated over and over again in the poorest areas of the developing world. Believing that his village banking invention belonged not to himself, but to the world’s poor, John has eagerly taught his methodology to hundreds of organizations and individuals.
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