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Microfinance Fund Starter Kit

Borrower Stories

Photos © by Michael Kienitz

Social and Economic Development

As the neighborhood miller, Rosa rises every morning before dawn to be able to greet her first customers at 5 in the morning. She grinds her neighbors' corn into soft dough that can be used to make the tortillas that are eaten at all three daily meals in Nicaragua.  Rosa's father helped her get her business started so she would not have to leave the house to wash and iron clothes for other people and would be able to stay home with her children.

Over the last 10 years, Rosa has had eight small loans. Her first loan, for $263, was to replace the gas motor on her mill with an electric motor and her current loan, for $210, was used to buy a new electric motor.  Once she has repaid her loan, she would like to fix-up her house, but like mothers world-wide, she has placed the education of her children over her comfort and is helping her son complete his college degree in industrial agriculture.

Starter Kit Purpose:

The Microfinance Starter Kit is designed to inspire and support your organization as you consider the establishment of your own microfinance fund.  Creating and stewarding a microfinance fund offers a range of benefits for all fund stakeholders.  In particular, you can bolster the financial strength of your organization, while also enhancing to the quality of life of micro-loan borrowers, their family, local community and more broadly their entire country.  Thus, your investment has a local and global impact.  

The starter kit is also designed to provide you with additional background around how we structured our fund, encouraged investments/donations within our organization and leveraged local and national matching grants to maximize our impact.  We also offer various fundraising tools we used during the establishment of the fund.  Please feel free to modify these in any way that suits your needs or create new tools.  

We are here to assist.  Please feel free to reach out with questions, suggestions and comments.

Warm wishes,

First Unitarian Micro-finance Committee
Send a message to the FUS Microfinance Team

1. Microfinance: Microfinance is quite simple. 
2. Organizational Structure & Stakeholder Benefits: Potential microfinance fund structures & stakeholder benefits
3. Investing: For social and financial returns.
4. Fundraising: Broad strategies & implementation tools.
5. Share the Success: Communicating with your organization.

6.  Spread the Word: Sharing success across your organization.

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