We offer loans to women in need in impoverished countries to start up, expand, or continue a business.
The Lending Journey was created to help people in the global south improve their social and economic conditions. Most of the women we find ourselves dealing with are poor and often have very little education. They are very enterprising and, given the opportunity, are prepared to work hard to create small businesses. Currently, our primary focus is with small town in Ecuador and Nicaragua.
Why invest in micro-enterprise?
Micro-enterprise is often considered one of the most effective and flexible strategies in the fight against global poverty. It is sustainable and can be implemented on the massive scale necessary to respond to the urgent needs of those living on less than $1 a day — the world’s poorest. The Lending Journey was created in the belief that even the least privileged, when given an opportunity, will rise above their present socioeconomic situation. Most recipients of our loans are underprivileged mothers with minimal skills, who often appear unemployable and ineligible for a traditional bank loan. Each applicant is interviewed and given guidance in how to prepare a simple business plan and application. Once the individual receives a loan, our regional director works with them over a 26-week period to help ensure their individual success. At present, we are seeing a repayment rate of 95% on the loans, a sign of people’s commitment to improve their situation. Through The Lending Journey, our national staff are witnessing entire families being transformed, jobs being created, and people gaining self-worth.
How does it work?
Micro-enterprises consist of making small loans, usually of $300 CAD, to individuals to establish or expand a small, self-sustaining business. In our case, the recipients are usually women. The loan allows a person to purchase the equipment or stock necessary in the beginning. Store owners need products and space; shoemakers need leather and tools; pharmacists need drugs and remedies; restaurants need appliances and ingredients; and clothes makers need material and sewing machines. However, as they operate their business, they actually make back the money they receive. Hence, an important and exciting part of the micro-enterprise is the recycling of funds. As loans are repaid, usually in six months to a year, they are re-loaned. This continual investment multiplies the impact of each dollar lent.