Women’s collaborative brings speaker to teach about microfinance for poor Guatemalan women. When women in poor, rural areas receive a small loan, big things can happen. (Excerpt taken from Chico News & Review, click here for full story)
“There was one [Guatemalan] lady … [who] had become a success, and she said, ‘Now I know that my husband doesn’t need to beat me,’” offered Katy Warren, co-founder of the Women’s Microfinance Collaborative, a loosely knit group of Chico-area donors focused on microfinance.
The woman was a recipient of a microfinance loan that she received from Friendship Bridge—a Colorado-based microfinance institution (MFI) that focuses on empowering poor entrepreneurial women in Guatemala by giving loans of usually around $300-$350. Loans are used to grow small businesses—for instance, to buy a new loom for a weaving business, or buy seeds for a small farm.
“That’s a big deal to me,” said Warren of the Guatemalan woman’s newly found strength. “She had enough power to say, ‘No, you’re not going to hit me again’ to him.”
Michelle Rasmussen, the collaborative’s facilitator and chairwoman, agreed. “Allowing women to get into a business and be self-sustaining changes not only their economic situation, but their social situation [as well].”
Microfinance—as the name implies—is the supply of small loans and other financial services to the poor, who often are excluded from traditional banks’ services because of their rural locations (making banks inaccessible), or because of their low incomes, which disqualify them for traditional loans.