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Global Microfinance Networks

FINCA Provides Financial Services to Low-Income Entrepreneurs

— May 12, 2011 — Social Good
FINCA is a microfinance organization that operates financial services and programs all over the globe. FINCA (the Foundation for International Community Assistance) was founded in 1984 by international development expert and economist John Hatch, while he was working on a USAID project in Bolivia.

INCA gives loans, and other financial services, to small-scale entrepreneurs so that they can support their own small businesses. FINCA main operates using a program developed by Hatch, called “Village Banking,” which administers microcredit through local solidarity groups as opposed to formal banks, allowing poor individuals to obtain loans without collateral, at rates they can afford. The Village Banking program took the greatest shape in 1986 in El Salvador, where Hatch began to give loans to women involved in microenterprise livelihood activities. FINCA works primarily with women, because it is women who are typically more likely to repay loans, invest money in businesses, as well as in the household, their children and in human capital like education and health. With FINCA, Women form a group and take out money using “group loans” that allow them to co-sign each other's loans and meet together to discuss repayment and other business-related issues.

The featured video of FINCA Canada Board Member Jacquie Green during a recent trip to Guatemala to meet FINCA clients and staff explores how female small-scale entrepreneurs are able to make the most of FINCA's services and improve their livelihoods. The video shows the women's innovative business techniques that the women use to stay on target.

Since its inception, FINCA has expanded across Latin America, Africa, Eurasia and the Greater Middle East with programs in Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Haiti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, Kosovo, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Jordan. Furthermore, FINCA has expanded its financial products in many countries. Among other things, some of FINCA's innovations include: insurance policies, mobile pay telephone services, loans for solar home systems, HIV/AIDS prevention education, debit cards, commercial capital, and most notably, the saving services to accompany working capital loans.

The impact of microfinance goes beyond economic opportunities, but rather, has enormous possibilities in terms of community development. For over 25 years, FINCA proves that microfinance has positive influences on other human development factors, especially considering the improvement of the overall quality of life for the borrower's family. For instance, FINCA cites increased incomes and better nutrition for their children. Accordingly, FINCA works to give families the instruments they need in order to break the cycle of poverty.

Contact Information:
Finca Canada Website
157 Adelaide Street West, Suite 408

Toronto, ON
M5H 4E7

Telephone: 1-647-259-3124
Trend Themes
1. Microfinance Expansion - The global expansion of microfinance networks presents an opportunity for financial institutions to provide much-needed financial services to low-income entrepreneurs.
2. Village Banking - The Village Banking program pioneered by FINCA opens doors for disruptive innovations in microcredit administration, allowing individuals without collateral to access loans at affordable rates.
3. Microfinance Impact - The positive influences of microfinance on community development and overall quality of life create avenues for innovation in providing instruments to break the cycle of poverty.
Industry Implications
1. Financial Services - The microfinance industry offers opportunities for financial institutions to develop innovative products and services catered to low-income entrepreneurs.
2. Mobile Payments - The integration of mobile pay telephone services in microfinance networks presents disruptive innovation potential in providing secure and convenient payment options for borrowers.
3. Social Impact - The microfinance sector can be leveraged for innovations in social impact programs, such as HIV/AIDS prevention education, to address critical societal issues along with financial services.
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