More than one billion people in some of the world’s poorest countries make only $2.50 per day, or less. Most often these people are surviving with limited resources and little to no support from traditional banks, depending on their geographic location. They are the forgotten people who have been disproportionately excluded from accessing financial tools needed to improve their lives. This is particularly true for women who continue to be largely excluded from the economy.
For more than 30 years, microfinance loans have benefitted millions of people by helping to build businesses, increase incomes and improve the overall quality of lives around the world. FINCA Canada understands how a small impact can create large, generational changes across communities for years to come and embraces microfinancing as an effective way to overcome adversity.
To support people in impoverished countries, FINCA Canada — in partnership with the Government of Canada — values and executes financial inclusion to help raise the standard of living in Haiti and the DRC.
How Microfinancing Benefits Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners
Microfinancing is a form of banking provided to low-income individuals who have been traditionally excluded from accessing other financial services. Using microfinancing tactics such as microloans, insurance, access to savings accounts and other financial services, individuals are provided with the support they need for their businesses to thrive. It also helps individuals gain the power to make responsible financial decisions safely and in a way that is consistent with ethical lending practices.
FINCA Canada provides microfinancing to bridge economic gaps and create sustainability and self-reliance for individuals, particularly women, in developing countries. In these countries, it is common for people to generate income through self-employment by operating their own small enterprises. For example, in Haiti, the average loan is $280 and can help a woman start a small clothing business or pivot business offering during times of need. Having access to services like microloans economically empowers individuals by giving them the ability to manage their lives more effectively and helps foster success for generations to come.
A key aspect of FINCA Canada’s work centres around female empowerment, as most services provided support women in Haiti and the DRC who are looking to pull themselves out of poverty. As it stands, 89 and 36.8 per cent of FINCA borrowers are female in Haiti and the DRC, respectively. Imagine, a young single mother pursues a small investment to help grow her business of selling nuts. Microfinancing could help accelerate her business and meet growing demand. With these additional loans, she would be able to purchase a bigger stand and increase inventory supply, hire employees to help run the business and contribute to an improved quality of life for her and her family as a result. Microfinancing may seem small at first, but the outcomes lead to a snowball effect of success that lasts a lifetime. To us and the clients we serve, a little goes a very long way.
Microvolunteering and How You Can Contribute
Microvolunteering is a form of volunteering done via bite-sized actions in short amounts of time. It is a convenient, quick and easy way to support worthy causes all around the world and is especially relevant given today’s current circumstances. With Microvolunteering Day just around the corner, it is your time to show your support for female entrepreneurs across developing countries. For these business owners, a microloan from FINCA is a game-changer and is often what stands between them and overcoming poverty by making their hard work profitable.
Join us on April 15, and throughout this month, as we raise awareness and funds to make a difference in these women’s lives. There are a variety of ways you can contribute, including making a one-time or monthly tax-deductible donation or donating a symbolic gift. Every bit of support count, and through the OppHERtunity campaign, FINCA Canada is working with the Government of Canada in helping 120,000 women in Haiti and the DRC from falling back into extreme poverty. Every $1 donated will be matched with $4 by the Government of Canada.