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.
Spotlight on Whole Planet Foundation's Bold, New Partnerships, by Claire Kelly
According to Women’s World Banking, “Women in Bangladesh have the highest-ever rates of literacy and employment, and the country’s economy is growing. Financial inclusion now stands at more than 50 percent, nearly doubling in the past few years. But the financial inclusion gender gap is growing rapidly too, with fewer than half of women accessing or using formal financial services.”
With the tremendous support of Whole Foods Market shoppers, team members and volunteers, donors, and corporate partners, the Whole Planet Foundation Annual Prosperity Campaign raised $4,249,706 during the month of March. These efforts will support more than 128,000 people with the chance to lift themselves out of poverty through microcredit.
In the global fight against poverty, a quiet revolution in corporate giving has been bubbling under the surface. Smaller brands are finding that a relatively modest amount of money can help transform the lives of women and their families. One important strategy is to fund microloans for women, who worldwide are more likely to be impoverished than men.
TriplePundit Flash: Yes, Smaller Brands Can Help End Global Poverty
In the global fight against poverty, a quiet revolution in corporate giving has been bubbling under the surface. Smaller brands are finding that a relatively modest amount of money can make help transform the lives of women and their families. One important strategy is to focus microloans on women, who are both more likely to be impoverished; the result is that creative means of financing can make a significant difference in women’s families and their communities.