Village Bank Notes Summer 2013 • Volume 24 • Issue 2
A Message from the CEO:
FINCA Extends Its Life-Changing Services to Pakistan Dear Friends, Thanks to the ongoing and overwhelming support from you, our investors and donors, I’m thrilled to relay the news that FINCA’s lifechanging microloans and other products and services are now available to hardworking women and men in Pakistan. Like our clients in Guatemala, Tanzania and the other countries in which we work, Pakistan’s poor struggle on a daily basis to escape poverty. Our expansion into Pakistan is important for many reasons. Most important, Pakistan is a huge country, the sixth most populous in the world, with more than 180 million people. The median age is 22 years, and per capita income is a mere $1,372. More than 60 percent of its citizens live on less than $2 per day, and 22 percent live on less than $1.25 per day. Employment in the informal economy is 74 percent, which is precisely the group to which FINCA aims to provide a hand up. There is a clear and evident need for our services, and we’re anxious to begin providing them. Second, I firmly believe that lack of economic opportunity is at the heart of much of the unrest in the world. By offering financial services to hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis in the coming years, I believe that, with the continuing support of our donors and investors, we can help create an environment that is more conducive to peace in Pakistan, the region and the world. As an example of the type of clients we’ll be serving, I want to tell you about Farzana, a hardworking and successful small-scale entrepreneur, who is confident she’ll benefit from FINCA’s presence in her community. The mother of three children, Farzana started her career www.FINCA.org
Farzana of Lahore, Pakistan
as a beautician. With access to very limited resources, she opened a small beauty parlor, which added to her family’s income. But Farzana dreams she can do even more if she has some additional capital. She knows that an infusion of capital will allow her to grow her business and, hopefully, hire other beauticians, thus creating the ripple effect that microfinance can have in poor communities. She says she’s looking forward to working with FINCA Pakistan, and has high hopes for her family’s future. Needless to say, we’re looking forward to working with her, and many more people in Pakistan. Sincerely,
Rupert Scofield 1
News From The Field
Village Bank Notes
This newsletter is a publication of FINCA International, Inc. ©2013. All rights reserved. This material shall not be copied, reproduced, reprinted, or placed on the Internet or other electronic or print media without express, written permission of FINCA International, Inc. FINCA International is a nonprofit, private voluntary organization exempt from income tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. FINCA is a registered charity in Canada and the UK.
www.FINCAUK.org 004 (0) 7 584661825
general public. “This is an historic step toward financial inclusion for not only our more than 73,000 clients, most of whom live in rural areas and don’t have access to banking services, but for the public, as well, as they now can deposit their savings securely with us.” While credit products may be appropriate for some people, the need for a secure and convenient place to save is universal. Savings products and services can play an important role in social and economic development for low-income communities.
FINCA Tanzania client Naima Selemani
This milestone event would not have been possible without the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has been providing the support necessary to pilot savings and alternative delivery channel development to FINCA’s Africa and Latin America subsidiaries since 2009.
FINCA Azerbaijan Named Top Leader in Microfinance For many years, Seyran Orujaliyeva of Shabran, Azerbaijan, has used her FINCA loans to expand her carpet weaving business and make steady improvements to her family home. Her success has made it possible to help her son build his own home, and plan her daughter’s wedding. She has long given FINCA credit for providing the working capital needed to build a better life for her family. Now FINCA has received recognition from another source, winning Azerbaijan’s most prestigious award for business and economic achievement, the Uğur. In recognizing the impact of FINCA Azerbaijan’s success, due in good part FINCA Azerbaijan client Seyran Orujaliyeva to the support of hundreds of thousands of donors over the past 28 years, the Uğur committee focused on FINCA’s contribution to strengthening and improving the national economy through job creation, improving the well-being of Azeri families, and promoting social responsibility. CEO Manish Sane said of the honor, “The word Ugur means success in Azeri, and I couldn’t be more proud of my staff for the outstanding job they’ve done to create a culture of excellence in serving our more than 140,000 clients. Their hard work and dedication continue to increase our positive image in the business community, in each of the towns where we work and, most important, with our clients.”
Photo by FINCA staff
For Naima Selemani, saving a portion of her loan and her earnings is something she’s done since becoming a FINCA Tanzania Village Banking member in 1999. She knew it was important to create a safety net for her business and her family to ensure a more stable future. Plus, she wants to own her own home, and having a savings account will help her achieve her goal. Now thousands more Tanzanians have a safe and secure place to accumulate their savings, since the Bank of Tanzania issued the first-ever official banking license to FINCA’s Tanzania subsidiary. FINCA Tanzania CEO Tom Kocsis said the license allows the subsidiary to expand the products and services it makes available to clients, in addition to offering savings products to the
Photo by FINCA staff
Beyond Credit: Mobilizing Savings for All Tanzanians
Tailoring Tradition to Create New Opportunities with a solid credit history, so they recommended she seek out the local FINCA credit officer, who welcomed her warmly, and she’s had a successful relationship ever since. Today, Nafisa’s 20 students not only learn from her, they help her produce the orders that continue to increase her business. And while she takes great pride in their accomplishments, her greatest sense of pride comes from the fact FINCA Afghanistan client Nafisa that her 22-year-old daughter is in college, studying to be a nurse, opening up a whole new career path that wouldn’t be possible without the support she’s received through FINCA loans. “Without FINCA’s loans,” Nafisa says, “my family, and especially my daughter, would not have the kind of life we have today. I am so grateful that we’re looking at a brighter future.”
Photo by FINCA staff
Cultivating a sense of community isn’t always easy, especially when you can’t freely move around your neighborhood without a man accompanying you, or when you’re faced with the possibility that explosions can happen anywhere, any time. But that doesn’t keep FINCA Afghanistan client Nafisa from sharing her tailoring expertise with 20 students, eager to learn her secrets for success, and building a thriving business, both at home and abroad, that’s opening new doors for her daughter. Nafisa is 50 years old and has decades of experience designing and sewing traditional Afghani dresses. Her expertise and attention to detail are well known in Mandavi, where she lives with her husband, daughter and two sons. But her tailoring skills are known beyond the confines of her community, as she sells her creations to five shops in Kabul, as well as filling orders that come in from Canada and the US. Building her business has had its share of challenges. Getting her first loan wasn’t easy, as reputable organizations weren’t easy to find. And being a woman didn’t help. But she took out several loans from another international microfinance organization, and things went along well, until that program came up against its own problems. However, they knew that Nafisa was a good client
A Donor’s Perspective: Our Visit to FINCA Uganda by Sarah M. Baird Micro-Energy We spent our days shadowing outreach workers, interviewing clients and conducting impact surveys. We asked questions about entrepreneurial activities, relationships with FINCA, and how access to microfinance and micro-energy products has improved their lives. The responses were overwhelmingly positive about their loan portfolios and micro-energy products including the Solar Home Systems Program. The positive impact of the micro-energy program on the clients was immediately evident in all of the homes we visited. Kerosene lanterns sat unused on side tables, relics of a dirtier energy past, and at least one bright light (often four or more) illuminated their modest homes. All of the microenergy clients interviewed praised the Solar Home System for its clean and free energy source; cost savings; improved www.FINCA.org
health and educational outcomes for their children; time savings; safety; and modernizing impact. We found this program to be of enduring value, and hope that it becomes sustainable, once it is scaled up across Uganda.
FINCA Uganda Sta
r Girls Savings gro
Need for Ongoing Support As we gained fluency with the FINCA Star Girls and Smart Start Uganda products and organizational Youth Programs structure, we came to a better understandWe visited one Smart Start Youth Program ing of the intertwined structure of FINCA and two Star Girls Programs. The former Uganda as a registered for-profit microfitargets 12- to 24-year-olds; the latter 10- to. nance and savings bank coupled with its 19-year-olds, but both help to establish a social mission and relationship with the solid base of financial literacy while building non-profit FINCA International. Although future banking clients. The financial literacy this for-profit bank within an NGO makes for programs seem to be very well thoughta complex model, it’s clear to us that there out and executed, and the materials used is an ongoing need for outside support are clear and easy to use. The participants in order to continue FINCA Uganda’s social were enthusiastic and seem to be learning mission and commitment to serving a great deal about strategies for savings, the most vulnerable and underserved budgeting and setting goals. micro-entrepreneurs. 3
Photo by Sarah Baird
Donor Sarah Baird spent five days with the FINCA Uganda staff, touring various communities to learn more about specific programs offered. Here is an excerpt from her trip report. Read the full account online at www.FINCA.org
Photo by Sean Mattison
FINCA Mexico family of weavers
One of the many ways you can support FINCA’s vital efforts to give women and their families a chance to escape the cycle of poverty is through gifts of stock or other securities. These types of generous contributions can have immediate and exponentially greater impact, and help FINCA provide even more small loans to women ready to invest their talents and hard work to provide a life of hope for their families. The value of stock gifts is determined by the value of the securities on the day they are credited to FINCA’s account. As with all contributions to FINCA, the value of the gift rotates through two to three times each year, allowing you to as much as triple the number of lives you impact each and every year. Beyond their powerful impact on FINCA’s clients, gifts of stock can provide you with a number of important benefits. If you itemize deductions on your federal income tax return, you may be able to deduct the value of your gift from your adjusted gross income. In addition, gifts of appreciated stock can avoid capital gains tax. Some states also allow tax credits or deductions for gifts of stock. Please consult with your tax advisor about how the requirements for deductions and capital gains taxes apply to your particular situation. To make a contribution of stock to FINCA, visit our donation page at www. FINCA.org/donate.htm and complete the stock gift form. Give the top half of the form to your broker and return the bottom half to FINCA so that we can provide you with an accurate receipt. Please visit www.FINCA.org/donate.htm for more information or contact Mabel Valdivia at 202.262.1440, or via email at Mabel.Valdivia@FINCA.org. Thank you for your support!
FINCA has entered into a unique partnership with WildHearts, an innovative, charitable organization committed to launching companies that serve humanity, believing that businesses can play a crucial role in the fight for economic justice. Chosen as its operational partner, FINCA will benefit from generous support provided through WildHearts, increasing the amount of loan capital available to our clients. “By combining philanthropy with WildHearts Founder Mick Jackson meets entrepreneurial efficiency, we create with FINCA Guatemala clients sustainable, vigorously-commercial vehicles that enable businesses to fulfill their CSR responsibilities and take a stand against economic injustice in an efficient and credible way,” says WildHearts Founder Mick Jackson. “We’re excited to be partnering with FINCA, and look forward to a rewarding, long-term relationship.” Their first venture—WildHearts Office Supplies—provides office supplies at competitive prices, investing every penny of profit into organizations, like FINCA, that work to economically empower the poor. Mick and WildHearts Director Carys Petrie recently visited FINCA operations in El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico, witnessing first-hand the dedication and professionalism of FINCA staff, and most importantly the resilience, creativity and business acumen of FINCA clients. You can view stories and photos from their visits at www.FINCA.org/videos
Grab Your Beach Towel and Support FINCA, Too! For just $29, you can make a big difference in the lives of financiallymarginalized people throughout FINCA’s network. FINCA Advisory Board member and internationally-acclaimed designer Rebecca Minkoff has designed a beautiful beach towel for sale, online, whose net proceeds will be donated to support FINCA’s small loans! “I’m an avid supporter of FINCA because I believe in the power of women and entrepreneurship, and how each of us can use our creativity and resources to make real change that will allow all of our children to live in a more peaceful and welcoming world,” Rebecca says. “This is just one way we can work together to support women less fortunate than ourselves, and have a bit of fun, at the same time!” This beautifully designed towel will not only set you apart from everyone else at the beach or pool this summer, it also gives you an opportunity to tell people why you support FINCA’s life-changing work. The Designer Beach Towel Fundraising event is sponsored by One Kings Lane, a leading online destination that offers shoppers a fresh collection of select home goods, and designer and vintage items. To purchase your towel, go to https://www.onekingslane.com/brands/beachtowels/ www.FINCA.org
Photo: Carys Petrie
Business Fighting Poverty
Creating Security with Gifts of Securities