by Brian Doe, Regional Director For West Africa and the Middle East
Unlike at traditional banks, portfolio managers for microfinance institutions need to travel daily to villages and often the homes of their clients as a key part of building a bond with the entrepreneurs they want to ensure succeed with the loans they take from Whole Planet Foundation's partners. This means long days in the field, unexpected dangers or obstacles and putting in overtime to help a client that may need some extra mentorship or support to succeed. The photo above shows a Field Officer assisting with a savings and loan meeting organized by Village Enterprise in Uganda.
Compete in Whole Planet Foundation's Virtual 10K Activity Challenge during November to create opportunity
Grab your running shoes, kayak, skateboard, or whatever gets you moving and travel 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) or more between November 1-30th to complete the Whole Planet Foundation Turkey Trek Challenge to support micro entrepreneurs. Set your own personal goals in November and compete with your friends and family.
2019 Trailblazer Awarded on October 25, Poverty Is Unnecessary Day
At Whole Planet Foundation’s Annual Benefit & Auction, the Foundation honored the Frontier Co-op Well Earth sourcing program as its 2019 Trailblazer. The missions of Whole Planet Foundation and Frontier Co-op align perfectly around one central idea -- empowering people. In 2007, Frontier Co-op created the Well Earth sourcing program not only to ensure the sustainability of its products, but to empower its growers.
by Brian Doe, Regional Director for West Africa and the Middle East
Last month I went Cote D’Ivoire to visit Whole Planet Foundation long-time microfinance partner Premiere Agence de Microfinance (PAMF), who administers group microloans to rural entrepreneurs and farmers. This visit allowed me to observe the initial roll-out of a new mobile phone-based platform that Whole Planet Foundation provided grant funding to help build. The platform will allow anyone with a cell phone to repay loans or deposit savings into PAMF accounts without having to travel to a PAMF branch office.
This year, we are bringing you People Power Microcredit, a newsletter series that goes behind the scenes to show you the incredible people driving our mission forward. You will meet volunteers, Field Credit Officers, Whole Planet Foundation Team Members, and others dedicated to eradicating poverty and empowering entrepreneurs. This month, meet two field credit officers in Latin America who received recent nominations for Whole Planet Foundation’s Field Credit Officer Awards in their region.
At a microfinance group meeting of a Whole Planet Foundation microfinance partner, you might see a lot of paper: piles of cash, thick record books to record attendance and meeting minutes; repayment schedules; group loan balance reports; passbooks. At the branch office, too, more paper: stacks and binders and file cabinets full of applications and loan contracts.
“Microfinance has always been a high-touch business, with personal contact playing an indispensable role in the delivery of financial services for low-income clients. Human relationships and values like trust and empathy are crucial in determining whether a microfinance institution (MFI) will be able to grow and remain sustainable.