Empower women. Eliminate poverty.


Achievements of 2023

Dear Friendship Bridge Family,

2023 was a great year full of new achievements for Friendship Bridge, development for our clients, progress for our staff, and good news about our many programs designed to empower Guatemalan women and eliminate poverty.

As I reflect on my inaugural year as President & CEO, I am deeply moved by the dedication and hard work exhibited by both our staff and our clients. This was a year of significant transition in organizational leadership, coupled with challenges surrounding the presidential election in Guatemala. Your unwavering commitment to Friendship Bridge amidst these changes is truly commendable and does not go unnoticed. I am also filled with gratitude that, with the collective effort of everyone involved, we were able to serve nearly 35,000 women in 2023. Thank you all for your outstanding contributions!

As we plan for the year ahead in 2024, there are still more milestones to reach, but we are staying well-aligned with the goals outlined in our 2021–2025 Strategic Plan, Impact2. Continue reading to discover the multitude of accomplishments that your support has contributed to!



  • Ended the year with nearly 25 thousand clients in the portfolio while serving nearly 35 thousand during the year.
  • Portfolio quality results continued to be best in class in the country and industry-wide, achieving full year write-offs of 1% of our average gross loan portfolio even with our changes to credit policy and with our growth in individual loans during 2023.
  • Maintained a client retention rate of 77%.
  • Disbursed a total of $26 million in credits throughout the year, a 6% increase from 2022.
  • Ended the year with our clients having maintained an impressive repayment rate of 98.9%.


  • Aligned with our Strategic Plan, which outlines the establishment of a new branch annually, we inaugurated a branch in Chicacao to enhance our client service in the Suchitepéquez department. This expansion brings Friendship Bridge’s presence to a total of 12 branches and 1 satellite office, strategically positioned across 13 departments.
  • Made nearly 17 thousand effective outbound calls to collect feedback and maintain relationships with clients in Spanish as well as in four Mayan languages (Q’eqchi was in 2023, alongside K’iche, Kaqchikel, and Mam). 100% of client complaint cases received were closed successfully within an average of three days—an improvement compared to an average of seven days in 2022.
  • Implemented a client satisfaction survey that revealed a high level of satisfaction, with 94% expressing contentment with our services, particularly in areas such as credit conditions, Non-Formal Education, and additional benefits.
  • The Client Advisory Committee, consisting of 60 clients across 10 branches, met three times during the year and provided valuable feedback on our programs and marketing tools and participated in leadership training.

Support for Staff

Social Performance

  • Received a Top Impact Award from the microfinance index measurement company, 60 Decibels for 2023, ranking #2 in Latin America among all microfinance organizations surveyed in the region.
  • Recognized as the Organizational Honoree by WorldDenver at its 2023 International Women’s Day event.
  • Earned a 4-star rating, the highest rating possible, on Charity Navigator for the fourth consecutive year.
  • Earned Candid’s (formerly Guidestar’s) Platinum Transparency 2023 award.
  • Earned GreatNonprofits’s Top-Rated Nonprofit 2023 award.
  • Ranked second for highest number of women served among microfinance institutions in Guatemala, according to The Central American and Caribbean Microfinance Network (REDCAMIF).
  • Honored as a semifinalist for a 2023 European Microfinance Award (EMA) on the topic of Inclusive Finance for Food Security & Nutrition.
  • Reached nearly 22 thousand followers on social media, a 24% increase from 2022.
  • Featured in 87 media broadcasts, articles, websites and posts across the U.S. and Guatemala.


  • $2.5 million was raised in donations, fundraising events, and grants (an increase from $1.7 million raised in 2022) thanks to over 730 supporters.
  • Raised $2.4 million in new investor funding and loan rollovers to support the growth of the portfolio.
  • Completed another record-breaking year with our partner Kiva raising $3 million in funding.
  • The Board of Directors helped raise over $360 thousand (an increase of $60 thousand based on 2022) with their participation in various campaigns throughout the year.
  • 12 active Friendship Circles and five former Circle locations raised nearly $287 thousand, an increase of $87 thousand from last year.
  • The 2023 Stay-at-Home Building Bridges Gala event raised $134 thousand.

Women’s Agriculture Credit & Training

  • 924 clients used an agriculture loan, a historic high.
  • 100% of clients with an agricultural loan received technical assistance at least once throughout the course of the year; 72% of clients received technical assistance three times throughout the year.
  • Formed a partnership with PRO-INNOVA, an USAID project implemented by Popoyán, that allows us to expand the program to Huehuetenango and central Quiche, providing a call center for agricultural services, field technicians and innovation and technology.
  • VIDEO: How Candelaria is Sowing Seeds of Change In this video, Candelaria shares her experience as a client of our Women’s Agriculture Credit & Training program—and how her learnings are already spreading to others in her community.

Health for Life

  • Expanded our Health for Life program to our new 2023 branch, with our program now operating in seven total branches, serving a total of 6,713 clients and 68 complex cases in 2023 alone. This is an increase of 44% compared to 2022 (4,658 clients and 37 complex cases).
  • 1,643 (24% of clients) took advantage of a family planning method.
  • 150 clients across four branches utilized the Mental Health pilot program, receiving counseling and support from licensed professionals for issues such as domestic violence, bereavement, depression, anxiety, and beyond.
  • VIDEO: Martha’s Health for LifeOur client Martha shares the story of a critical diagnosis she received through Health for Life services, and her subsequent journey of healing and self-care.

Bridge to Success

  • Ended the year with 255 clients participating in Bridge to Success (an increase of 44%), with a portfolio of over $777 thousand.
  • Clients with more than 1 year in the program increased their income by 32% and profits by 34% on average.
  • Hosted the third annual Women’s Entrepreneurs Awards with 195 women participating—a 9% increase compared to the previous year. Awards were given in three categories: Successful Entrepreneur, Exemplary Client, and Remarkable Woman.
  • 84% of clients improved the strategy of their businesses, 82% their finances, and 59% their marketing strategies.
  • 94% of clients progressed on their action plan. On average, clients met 2 out of 3 objectives for their business.
  • Renewed support from the Target Foundation will allow us to continue scaling our Bridge to Success program—a significant component of our current Strategic Plan.
  • 345 entrepreneurs (clients and non-clients) participated in Bridge to Success networking events or promotional workshops to connect entrepreneurs to one another for learning, sharing, and forming personal and commercial relationships.
  • VIDEO: Pastelería Teresita: Recipe for SuccessOur client Teresa highlights the real difference between self-taught skills and the professional training she received while in our Bridge to Success program, and the impact it has had on her business.


  • 1,061 clients participated in Advanced Training programs on topics related to animal husbandry, handicrafts, and technical training in baking and cooking. With these courses, our Trust Bank clients learned new techniques, how to diversify their businesses, and/or start a new business.
  • 14,998 clients learned about WhatsApp functionalities, downloading the application, sending voice messages, and interacting in WhatsApp groups.
  • Our partnership with Tigo (a Guatemalan mobile phone service provider) resulted in the acquisition of digital credits amounting to $60 thousand, ultimately benefiting 15 thousand clients.
  • VIDEO: Pastures of Possibility: Our Animal Husbandry EducationA video highlighting the education that we offer on animal husbandry, demonstrating how it empowers rural women to foster financial independence through livestock farming.

Handmade by Friendship Bridge®

  • Over 33 thousand products were made to export and sell across the Handmade by Friendship Bridge® retail, wholesale, and online stores (nearly double the amount of products compared to 2022).
  • Exhibited our Master Weavers Collection of traditional Guatemalan blouses (huipiles) at our first museum, the Global Village Museum in Fort Collins.
  • Crafted a dress for Edna Marly Figueroa Cuc, the Indigenous pageant winner, who eloquently represented Guatemala at the 2023 Miss Abya Yala Indigenous pageant in Panama on June 1.
  • VIDEO: Handmade by Friendship Bridge®This video showcases how the Handmade by Friendship Bridge® program supports the artisan clients of Friendship Bridge with acquiring the skills, education, learning experiences, support, and technical assistance they need to reach their potential.

Three generations of Guatemalan women.

60 Decibels

  • Business impact: 93% of clients report the amount they earn from their business has increased due to their participation with Friendship Bridge.
  • Client protection: 65% say that time spent worrying about finances has decreased.
  • Resilience: 64% of clients say their ability to handle a major expense has improved due to their participation with Friendship Bridge.
  • Agency: 9 of 10 clients report that their confidence improved as a result of being a Friendship Bridge client.
  • Intergenerational change: 94% of clients “strongly agree” their children are more engaged in their education than they were at the same age.


Poverty Stoplight

  • Implemented the Poverty Stoplight methodology for a second year, a tool to evaluate clients’ living conditions and ambitions. Clients interviewed in 2022 and 2023 reduced their poverty situation by 8%.
  • In the dimension of Self-Reflection and Motivation (including autonomy over health, autonomy over business, self-motivation, self-esteem, and awareness of needs), 82% of clients surveyed marked “green” (no poverty).

Tracie Cordeiro, President & CEO


View Previous Years’ Achievements

2022 Achievements 2021 Achievements 2020 Achievements