Empower women. Eliminate poverty.

Tag : microcredit plus

2014 Impact Report – Expanding the Bridge: Opening Pathways of Empowerment

IR coverThis month we published our second annual Impact Report, a document that shares a variety of results from our Microcredit Plus program – some suggestive, some positive, and some from which to learn. This document guides our strategy toward fulfilling our social mission of empowering impoverished Guatemalan women to create better future for themselves, their families, and their communities through microfinance and education.

In 2014, our results show Microcredit Plus is increasing the agency of our clients. With increased agency our clients know what they want, believe they can achieve it, and are able to take action to realize it. Read our online report to learn more about outcomes related to our clients’ capacity over financial decisions, for economic change, and to aspire for a better future.

A few highlights from the 2014 Impact Report:

  • 90% of clients report taking on a leadership role since becoming a Friendship Bridge client
  • Clients who invested in clean stoves through Friendship Bridge’s CrediSalud loan saved $37/month (72%) in fuel expenditures each month. These clients also saw several positive outcomes related to health and children’s school attendance.
  • More than 1,000 students were supported through CrediEscolar loans for education. From 2013 to 2014, clients’ enrollment of dependent children between ages 7 and 13 increased 17%.
  • Clients who utilize a Plus service such as Advanced Training, CrediSalud, or CrediEscolar experience more positive change in their poverty status.
  • 95% of our clients feel their income has increased or stabilized. Over half report they have either started saving or increased their savings.

These outcomes from 2014 are shaping our strategy as we moves forward with our Social Performance Management goals. Our results are leading us to understand poverty with a wider lens – one that encompasses more than just financial outcomes. We are excited to see positive results as clients utilize our Plus services and participate in our program through multiple loan cycles. As we learn from our findings year-to-year we will be increasingly able to expand the bridge and open pathways of empowerment to even more women.

Read the full report here.

Last Week to Double Your Donation

FB client benefiting from challenge grant

Client store enhanced with 2012 challenge grant

Friendship Bridge received a generous challenge grant from the SG Foundation for $15,000 (a potential total of $30,000)!  Make your gift this week and it will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the SG Foundation.  There is no additional work for donors as your gift is automatically matched.  Simply visit our donation page, select an appropriate gift amount and we will handle the rest!

What the challenge grant will fund:
Monies received from this challenge grant will provide women in the Western Highlands with the skills and knowledge they need to create a better future through our Microcredit Plus program. The Microcredit Plus program is not a short-term fix but helps to build a foundation for lasting social and economic change. Friendship Bridge clients who participate in the Microcredit Plus program also  participate more in the economy, gain confidence and benefit from the network of support a Trust Bank provides. Access to credit allows clients to expand and grow their businesses, generate more income and begin working their way out of poverty.

Veteran Friendship Bridge clients are more likely to invest in their children’s education and tend to dedicate a much larger percentage of their household budget to education. The families of Friendship Bridge clients are healthier and they are better prepared to weather economic setbacks. Results of an independent evaluation conducted by FINCA demonstrated that Friendship Bridge loans create jobs for other members of the borrowers’ households and communities. The evaluation also showed that a one-year increase in time spent with Friendship Bridge is associated with a 44 percent increase in the proportion of the household budget devoted to education.

In the Western Highlands, our program is often a woman’s first exposure to education of any kind and the monthly lessons provide an opportunity to gain skills and knowledge they would otherwise not have access to. The interactive lesson plans help the women build confidence and acquire skills that help them grow as leaders.  For more information on Microcredit Plus, click here.

DOUBLE YOUR DONATION TODAY! (remember your gift is matched automatically)