Our programs are based off the microfinance programs developed originally by the Grameen Bank, a well-known microfinance organization, founded by Muhammad Yunus, who won the Nobel Prize in 2006. The Grameen Bank is founded on the belief that the very poor have unlimited potential, and unleashing their creativity and initiative helps to end poverty.
The model utilizes three important aspects that ensure success:
- Targeting women – Our program target is 80% of borrowers are women
- Group lending (solidarity groups) – A group of 8 or more borrowers is formed when the loans are distributed. Lending groups create both support in the development of your business and peer pressure to pay your loan back. No member of a lending group may receive a subsequent loan unless all members of the lending group have paid back their previous loan.
- Loan education – Educating our borrowers on how to be financially responsible, make repayments, and run a business is crucial.
Wisconsin Microfinance works with partners in Haiti and the Philippines in order to effectively provide loans for the most marginalized people. The role of Wisconsin Microfinance is to provide capital to our partners, who in turn provide loans to members of our target communities. Our partners are vital for the success of our mission because they screen potential applicants and collect loan payments.
Renia (pictured to the right) is our primary contact in the Philippines. She is the executive director of VICTO, a regional credit union in the central part of the Philippines.
Courrier is our primary contact in Haiti. He works for CECFOP, an economic development non-profit in Port-au-Prince.