How it works
ADEHGUA, a non-profit organization in Guatemala with many years of experience in microloans, administers the project.
Each group receives initial training and elects officers.
Women receive loans of 1,000 quetzales (about $130) to embark on or expand business ventures. Examples of business ventures include selling food or tortillas, growing corn, raising chickens or pigs, and selling clothing, firewood or basic supplies
Following the disbursement of loans, ADEHGUA staff visits each woman to verify her investment.
Groups meet regularly for accountability and support.
Women are encouraged to save 1 quetzal (about 13 cents) per day; these personal savings are brought to meetings and deposited in the bank.
At the end of each six month loan cycle, women repay their loans plus 2.5% interest.
The group is accountable for the loans; if an individual cannot repay, the group assumes responsibility. ADEHGUA works with the individual and the group to find solutions.
In subsequent cycles, women who desire larger loans to continue to expand their businesses are eligible, with group approval, to receive loans of up to 2,300 quetzales ($310). The interest women pay is recycled to provide the capital for these larger loans.
Women have the opportunity to remain in the project for up to 5 years (10 loan cycles) to grow in learning and experience, and to prepare to continue their businesses independently.