Enabling the Power of Ideas and Entrepreneurial Energy Through Microfinance Development
Sometimes, all people need is a little hand up and not a hand out.
Many people living below the bread line in Africa want to start or expand their small businesses but simply do not have the resources to do so. They may not have the collateral demanded by banks and other lending institutions.
Microfinance is a term for the practice of providing financial services, such as microcredit, microsavings or microinsurance to poor or disadvantaged individuals. By helping them to accumulate usably large sums of money, this expands their choices and reduces the risks they face
Microfinance consists of making small loans of usually less than $200 to individuals to establish or expand a small, self-sustaining business. For example, a woman may borrow $200 to buy chickens so she can sell eggs. As the chickens multiply, she will have more eggs to sell. Soon she can sell the chickens. Each expansion pulls her further from the devastation of poverty.
Today, microfinance plays a major role in the development of many African nations. Its impact is substantial enough to have warranted acknowledgment by the United Nations which declared 2005 "The international year of microfinance," reminding people that millions worldwide benefit from microfinance activities.
Empowering Small Businesses
Our goal is to provide “booster shots” and financing that will enable small businesses to expand, providing employment and contributing to national development. This project also involves providing the important training and support to ensure that these businesses succeed.
The immediate objective of Develop Africa’s Microfinance and Business Development training program is to assist beneficiaries in starting or expanding a business, so that they can become self sufficient. A longer term objective is for participants to expand their businesses and employ others as appropriate.
The training focuses on helping beneficiaries to recognize their commercial value. It also helps them recognize their own strengths and weaknesses and to build the critical business skills they need to ensure success.
• To enhance the capacity of trainees in successfully setting up, managing and growing their own business immediately after training.
• To increase the entrepreneurial competence of trainees.
• To encourage trainees to be accountable and to plan, record and design their businesses.
The most important form of microfinance is credit targeted primarily to disadvantaged youth and women who are also talented entrepreneurs. If these people gain access to credit, they will expand their businesses, stimulate local economic growth and hire their less entrepreneurial neighbors, resulting in fast economic development. While this approach had significant results in the developing world, it has failed to reach the majority of disadvantaged individuals, who depend on a rural subsistence lifestyle and income.
We target talented youths and women in the city and rural areas in Africa. We employ a community driven and managed microfinance model where we play the role of facilitator, for instance providing capacity building services to the groups and building relationships with financial institutions.
Our Projected Outcomes
- Self sufficiency for talented youths and women entrepreneurs
- Breaking of the cycle of poverty
- Facilitation and encouragement of the entrepreneurial spirit in the quest for self sufficiency
- Empowerment and self sustenance
- Economic expansion and growth creating unlimited possibilities for youths and women