Village Bank Notes Summer 2012 • Volume 23 • Issue II
Over the past three years, we’ve been sharing the good news about FINCA’s remarkable impact with a whole new audience of microfinance supporters through our efforts in the UK. So we couldn’t have been more thrilled when 120 friends of FINCA joined FINCA President and CEO Rupert Scofield and a distinguished panel of guests to talk about the impact being made through social entrepreneur partnerships. Our honored keynote speaker Andrew Mitchell, Member of Parliament and Secretary of State for International Development, delivered a positive and uplifting keynote address about how microfinance can be an effective tool to lift individuals and communities out of severe poverty. “Getting more people involved in microfinancial and microcredit services is something we recognize as being enormously important,” he said. “We think that microfinance has the capacity to make quite extraordinary changes across the world, and for what FINCA is seeking to do, we are aiming to provide very strong support.” Joining Rupert in a discussion about social entrepreneurship and how missiondriven organizations like FINCA can partner with corporations and other entities to have even greater impact in the developing world were James Leigh-Pemberton, Credit Suisse UK Managing Director and CEO, and Ramanie Kunanayagam, Group Head of Social Performance for BG Group. Social entrepreneurship, a topic of deep importance to Rupert, begins by identifying your passion, he said, then finding the resources, both financial and human, to develop a self-sustaining enterprise that www.FINCA.org
transforms your passion into an engine for improving the world. Partnering with organizations like Credit Suisse can provide the added value needed to move an organization to the next level. For example, some of FINCA’s subsidiaries faced foreign currency exposure risk because they couldn’t borrow in local currency. Credit Suisse was able to secure $10 million in funding from a group of socially responsible, private investors and developed the Local Currency Microfinance Note, a first-of-itskind transaction linking microfinance with local currency funding. “This transaction represents a milestone event in FINCA’s 25-year history, because it greatly reduces the foreign currency exposure risk to FINCA’s participating subsidiaries while, most importantly, reducing risks to clients,” Scofield said. These types of mechanisms are where Credit Suisse sees that it can play a key role, said Mr. Leigh-Pemberton. In a survey conducted with its investors, Credit Suisse found that 60 percent of respondents indicated that a primary motivation in investment decisions was social impact. “There is an appetite for Credit Suisse and its clients to partner with organizations like FINCA to help them better meet their needs to fund local efforts while staying true to defined social responsibility commitments,” he said. “Through partnerships like the local currency note, there is the capacity to satisfy everyone’s social mission.” BG Group’s Ramanie Kunanayagam told the audience of their efforts to move away from traditional corporate philanthropy and focus more resources on active en-
Photos by Charlotte Fielding
Broadening our Base of Support through FINCA UK and Social Entrepreneurship
Top: Andrew Mitchell, MP & Sec. State for Int’l. Development; (above) James Leigh-Pemberton, Credit Suisse, Ramanie Kunanayagam, BG Group, Rupert Scofield, FINCA, and David Rigg, Project Associates
gagement with local communities. “We’ve opened microfinance projects in Egypt and Tunisia through which more than 3,000 families are benefitting,” she said, “and are tackling youth unemployment, as well as focusing our social performance portfolio on education, vocational training and livelihood enhancement.” If you’d like to learn more about the influence of social entrepreneurship as it pertains to FINCA’s quarter century of success, consider reading The Social Entrepreneurs Handbook: How to Start, Build and Run a Business that Improves the World by Rupert Scofield. 1
News From The Field
Million Dollar Roundtable Foundation Grant Supports Loans in Haiti
Photo by FINCA staff
A generous grant from the Million Dollar Roundtable Foundation will allow FINCA Haiti to offer small loans to more low-income Haitians so they can grow their tiny businesses. The program will have a clear and direct impact on impoverished Haitian microentrepreneurs, their families and their communities, especially in underserved rural areas, which have the highest incidence of poverty and extreme poverty. As a result of this program, women will have extra income that they can invest to improve the wellbeing of their families. The MDRT Foundation is the charitable arm of the Million Dollar Round Table, The Premier Association of Financial Professionals. The MDRT Foundation helps MDRT members maximize their philanthropic efforts in their own communities and worldwide.
FINCA Haiti Client
This newsletter is a publication of FINCA International, Inc. ©2012. 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.
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FINCA Georgia Clients Will Use Mobile Phones for FINCA Loans In the near future, FINCA Georgia clients will be tapping into an innovative mobile payment network called MobiPay that will allow clients to instantly receive and repay their loans using their mobile phones. Approximately 77 percent of the clients live in rural areas, so the technology will make it easier and quicker for them to access their microloans. In addition, clients will be able to use MobiPay to purchase the goods and services they use in their small businesses, as well as pay bills, transfer money, top up FINCA Georgia client Lala Yolchiyeva mobile airtime and perform cash services through agents nationwide, and make purchases at more than 2,700 merchant locations across Georgia. This cashless transformation of the customer experience will save FINCA and its clients time and resources while improving operations. “We’re pleased to be a market leader in providing our customers with new ways to improve their access to financial services,” said Vusal Verdiyev, FINCA Georgia CEO. “This technology will go a long way in serving our clients better, especially our clients living in rural areas, improving our operations, and lowering costs for clients and FINCA Georgia.”
Photo by FINCA staff
Village Bank Notes
Conception Monterrosa Carranza is 66 years old and lives in Canton Santa Clara, Resume, El Salvador. As a child, she spent a lot of time with her mother, who taught her how to prepare seafood cocktails. Little did she know that this skill would someday help her through a very rough time in her life. Conception first started making and selling her seafood cocktails as a way to contribute to her husband’s income. After all, they were raising nine children together. Then, one day, her husband abandoned his family, providing no financial support. Conception had to rely on her food preparation skills to feed and care for her children who remained in her care. She opened a stall in the Central Market, where she heard about FINCA. She knew she had to expand her business if her family was to survive. She joined the Divine Blessing Village Banking
Group, and worked hard to make sure her children could attend school. She succeeded, and all of her children are now living independently. Conception is currently in her seventh loan cycle with FINCA El Salvador, and her most recent loan is for $150. Eight months ago, her husband returned home with serious health problems. Conception decided to help him and took control of his healthcare treatments. Although she did her best for him, her husband died five months ago. She says she is satisfied knowing she could support him when he needed help, and is grateful that FINCA has been
Photo by FINCA staff
Abandoned Mother of Nine Succeeds with FINCA Loans
Conception Monterrosa Carranza, FINCA El Salvador client
so supportive in helping her acquire the income she needed to ease some of her economic challenges. Conception is looking ahead to the future, and beginning to save some of her income, so she is prepared for new challenges that may come her way.
“It’s our world. We’re all one. Why wouldn’t we share?
Photo © Mar
Our team, COE Lending Group, has a mission to close the gap between rich and poor nations. What better way than to help women in the poorest of nations to advance themselves, their families, and their communities by encouraging their creative, courageous and entrepreneurial enterprise? COE Lending Group is an avid supporter of FINCA and the work they do through microlending around the world. Members of our group met at a conference. We’re an informal group coming from all parts of the country and even abroad. Members contribute a little or a lot—each according to their ability. By working together, we’re able to raise the $5,000 it takes to make a difference for an entire village! So far, COE Lending Group has funded Village Banks in Haiti, Zambia and Afghanistan. We’re now working on our fourth Village Bank – this one in El Salvador. Who knows where we might expand to next! It’s our world. We are all one. Why wouldn’t we share? Are you ready to step up? Form a team. Make a difference! Leslie Morpeth For COE Lending Group~ Closing the Gap
We wanted to share this lovely message we received from a group of FINCA’s supporters who have used FINCA’s Team Pages to fund multiple Village Banks.
Why not start a FINCA Team page with your family, friends or colleagues and help us reach our one million client milestone? It’s easy and fun, and you’ll be making a difference for families in need of a hand up, not a handout. For more information, go to http://teams.finca.org/site/c.hnKKKUOvHoE/b.5400627/k. BE74/Home.htm
Making brooms is a family affair for our FINCA Kosovo client
Most of us find comfort in knowing we’ll receive some type of financial support on a regular basis. Whether it’s in the form of a pay check, a benefit check or a dividend of some sort, simply knowing there is a reliable source of income allows for planning and managing all aspects of life, and can help when planning for the future. Organizations like FINCA—and our clients—are no different! Becoming a Sustainers’ Circle member is an easy, effective way to ensure that FINCA has a steady, reliable source of funding readily available to meet the needs of our Village Banking clients around the world. As a Sustainers’ Circle member, you’ll join thousands of others, worldwide, who support our work through automatic, monthly donations made directly through their checking or credit card accounts. To join the Sustainers’ Circle, simply decide on an amount you’re comfortable contributing each month—$10, $25, $50 or more—then either: n click on www.finca.org/donate and provide your information through our secure site; n contact our DC office by phone, and provide credit card information to a staff member, who will handle the paperwork; or n send a voided check to our DC office, and we’ll make all the arrangements with your bank. Your account will be billed automatically on a monthly basis. Just “set it and forget it.” We encourage you to consider becoming a Sustainers’ Circle member today!
On Our Way to One Million Clients! Who will be FINCA’s one millionth client? Where does she live? What kind of business does she own? What is her family like? How have FINCA’s loans improved her life? Get answers to these questions, and follow our run-up to our next great milestone—identifying our one millionth client—by visiting www.FINCA.org on a regular basis. There you’ll find a real-time ticker that shows our progress toward this long-sought-after accomplishment. And consider making a donation so you’ll know that you’ve been a part of making history right along with us. We couldn’t have made it this far without your support! Thank you!!!
Photo © Robert Bengtson
Photo © Robert Bengtson
Consider Joining the Sustainers’ Circle
FINCA Haiti client raises and sells chickens
Whole Planet Foundation, a Whole Foods Market non-profit that funds poverty alleviation around the globe where the company sources products, has made a $500,000 interest-free, local currency loan to FINCA Democratic Republic of Congo, which will allow for the program’s expansion into Kolwezi, a city in Katanga Province, the heart of the Congolese mining sector. The funding will bring much-needed financial services to more than 4,700 new borrowers over the next three years, the majority of whom are anticipated to be women. FINCA DR Congo CEO Ed Greenwood says the infusion of loan capital will go a long way to improving the lives and livelihoods of thousands of Congolese families in a country where the average annual income is just $189 and 70 percent of the citizenry is unemployed. “In a country so rich with resources, but so poor in income, FINCA’s loans can make a difference on a daily basis for people who are willing to work hard when given the means to create their own small businesses,” said Greenwood. “This partnership with Whole Planet Foundation will make it possible to give thousands more families the opportunity to work their way out of poverty on their own terms, and through their own ingenuity.” FINCA DR Congo began serving lowest-income entrepreneurs in 2003, and has grown to more than 74,000 clients, with loans averaging $355. The program currently operates in the capital city of Kinshasa, the Bas-Congo area just west of the capital, and the southeastern province of Katanga, where nearly 17,000 clients are served through two branches in Lubumbashi town and one in Likasi. The Kolwezi branch is scheduled to open during the second quarter of 2012. www.FINCA.org