Microfinance in a Nutshell
Many individuals living in poverty have the skills, work ethic, ideas, and motivation that they could put to use in order to make an income-generating business work, but they often lack access to important financial services like affordable credit, savings, and insurance. The basic idea behind microfinance is that if given access to these services people can use them as tools to invest in their own businesses and to ultimately achieve a better living for themselves and their families.
Our Microfinance Model
En Vía uses microfinance in order to provide financial tools to self-employed women living in the outskirts of Oaxaca. Our microloans are completely interest-free, thanks to the funds we channel from responsible tourism into our microfinance program. Our loan program is based on a number of prerequisites and basic principles that entrepreneurs need to fulfill in order to receive loans:
En Vía lends exclusively to women. It has been proven that women are more likely to put generated income toward the benefit of their family’s wellbeing.
We lend to women in groups of 3. This “solidarity model” allows us to lend to women with little or no credit history and no collateral.
Entrepreneurs must complete 8 money and business management classes before receiving their first loan.
As they move through the loan process they must attend monthly classes on core concepts of developing a small business and present their businesses to a group of responsible tourists.
They must invest their loans in their business rather than spend it on other household expenses. By investing in a business, women are able to generate income in order to both pay back the loan and support themselves and their families.