Transition to Independence
WMI provides village-level microfinance to launch women into business, graduating them in two years to mainstream financial services to grow their businesses.
A propos de vous
A propos de vous
A propos de votre organisation
Women's Microfinance Initiative
États Unis, MD, Bethesda, Montgomery County
Pays dans lesquels ce projet crée un impact social
Uganda, SIR, Buyobo
Votre organisation est-elle une
organisation à but non lucratif
Depuis combien de temps votre organisation opère-t-elle ?
Votre organisation a-t-elle reçu des récompenses ou des prix ? Si oui, indiquez-nous lesquels.
In 2010, Bethesda Magazine named WMI’s president Robyn Nietert one of its “Women We Admire.” With a legal background and a desire to help others, the magazine said, “She is a classic example of the axiom that dedicated individuals can effect major change.”
In 2011, Greenlight Apparel committed to donating 25% of its profits to organizations dedicated to ending the vicious cycle of poverty and selected “Women’s Microfinance Initiative working to empower individuals around the world by providing them with access to financial services and education” as its partner.
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Sélectionnez la phase qui s'applique le mieux à votre solution
Extension (la prochaine étape consiste à étendre l'impact à l'échelle régionale, voire internationale)
Depuis combien de temps le projet existe-t-il ?
En place depuis 1 à 5 ans
Parmi les propositions suivantes, laquelle décrit le mieux les obstacles que votre projet tente de surmonter ? Jusqu'à deux réponses possibles
Accessibilité, Coût, Transparence, Qualité, Équité.
Le besoin : quel problème tentez-vous de résoudre ?
Poor, rural women in developing countries cannot access essential financial services to start businesses. They are excluded for systemic reasons such as illiteracy, complicated paperwork, lack of collateral, demands for a male guarantor, unavailability of identity documents, and lack of transport. Though microfinance providers have emerged to serve unbanked populations, they focus on urban areas and fail to provide critical business training/support when lending to a population with no track record of making informed financial decisions, often leading to disastrous results. The challenge is to introduce an innovative economic model providing credit and training for poor, rural women to launch businesses, facilitating their transition to regulated financial services and the formal economy.
La solution: quelle solution proposez-vous ? Soyez précis !
WMI provides village-level access to credit, training and support for poor, rural women to develop their own enterprises and establish solid financial track records. WMI’s model ( unique among other micro-lenders) transitions borrowers from local microfinance into mainstream banking after 24-months - harnessing their business success in the WMI loan program to command competitive rates and conditions from institutional financial service providers. Demonstrating our borrowers “bankability” reduces risk, which increases interest from more traditional banks to access these new customers and begin to penetrate rural markets. By providing training/education, support and credit in areas with limited-to-no banking services, WMI promotes women's economic participation in poor, rural areas of Eastern Africa. In addition to income generation, borrowers’ accumulate assets, improve household living standards, and spur local economic development by hiring employees and creating community wealth.
Le système : décrivez un exemple spécifique montrant de quelle façon votre initiative fonctionne ; indiquez vos principales activités.
WMI’s comprehensive loan program, The Transition to Independent Banking Program, offers impoverished, rural women four successive interest-bearing, six-month term business loans (collateral free), ranging from $50-$250, in a highly structured environment. Borrowers in 20-member solidarity groups cross-guarantee each other’s loans. They receive skills/ business training, peer mentoring, on-going technical support and on-site follow up. WMI works with each borrower to prepare a simple business plan that provides a roadmap to reach her economic goal. Group activities allow the women to practice business promotion skills/techniques. WMI provides notebooks, pencils and calculators so the women can track of their business finances. Local Coordinators visit all of the borrowers on a rotating basis, assisting them with book keeping and solving business problems. Bi-weekly loan collections are funneled to the head coordinator who makes the bank deposit or to a mobile banking van provided by the banking partner.
After 24 months, WMI borrowers have developed a solid track record of business operations and financial management and transition to bank loans issued by WMI’s partner banks. WMI continues to provide training and support services. The funds repaid to WMI by graduating borrowers are then recycled to provide loans to first-time borrowers entering the program, making the program self-sustaining.Each WMI loan hub location is administered on the ground by the borrowers through a registered community based organization (CBO).Loan interest supports all local operating expenses.
Le marché : qui sont vos collègues et vos concurrents ? Identifiez les autres personnes qui travaillent à répondre au même besoin et indiquez ce qui vous différencie d'elles. Comment ces concurrents pourraient-ils influencer votre réussite ou votre croissance ?
Many microfinance ventures gravitate to more profitable urban markets and easy access to customers with prior business experience. However, the greatest need for credit is women in poorer, rural areas, where moneylenders are often the only source of capital. Banks do not offer services there because the costs of doing business are higher than the potential profit. WMI’s closest competition is from larger microfinance organizations such as FINCA and PRIDE. They are active in cities and towns (15 miles from WMI’s rural operations), but rely on knowledgable, qualified borrowers to come to them, limiting their effectiveness. The WMI program operates in the villages and is run by village women, eliminating the logistical and cultural problems that discourage many women from applying for credit.
This Entry is about (Issues)
Création de l'organisation : nous voulons tout savoir sur votre déclic. Expliquez-nous oú et quand les fondateurs se sont rendu compte que cette solution possédait un véritable potentiel pour changer le monde.
WMI was founded by professional women in the Washington, D.C. area in 2007. The founders designed a loan program from the perspective of how they would want to be treated if they were borrowers. They seeded the first group of loans with their own capital. They researched the literature on microfinance and concluded the ultimate goal of microfinance should be to graduate participants to financial autonomy and mainstream, regulated financial services, which WMI accomplished by negotiating in-country bank partners. In January 2008, WMI President, Robyn Nietert and Board Member June Kyakobye traveled to Buyobo Uganda to inaugurate the program with 20 loans in the village where Ms. Kyakobye was raised. In four years, WMI has grown from issuing 100 loans to new borrowers per year to issuing over 1,000 per year; the loan fund has grown from $5,000 to $300,000, and, most importantly, 680 women have graduated to independent banking. WMI now has ten loan hub locations in 3 countries in Africa.
Décrivez le but de votre initiative, en insistant sur les résultats que vous souhaitez obtenir
By providing access to collateral-free loans, training, and education through peer groups, run by village-level programs – impoverished, rural women experience immediate outcomes of launching micro enterprises, increasing their business skills, and improving their ability to access traditional financing. Graduation from WMI’s microloan and training program pre-qualifies the women for conventional banking products by providing them with a two-year credit and business operations track record. The bank gains new customers at no marketing expense and borrowers’ savings accounts increase bank deposits. The larger community improves exponentially as women increase economic opportunities for their households, increase local development through employment, and create community wealth.
Quel(s) obstacle(s) à l'inclusion financière votre solution cherche-t-elle à supprimer ? (plusieurs réponses possibles)
Obstacles physiques à l'accessibilité qui empêchent les communautés de bénéficier de services financiers, Manque de produits financiers abordables adaptés aux besoins des communautés défavorisées et marginalisées, Autre (SVP préciser ci-dessous).
Si vous avez sélectionné «autre» ci-dessus, SVP spécifier quels autres obstacles à l'inclusion financière votre solution cherche-t-elle à supprimer:
The logistical and cultural problems that discourage many women from applying for credit.
Pour quelles communautés défavorisées ou marginalisées votre solution créera-t-elle un accès à des services financiers complets, adaptés, abordables et sécurisés?
WMI works with women at the village- level in very rural areas of East Africa (Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania) that have primarily agricultural-based economies. This is a region where roads are dilapidated, distances are great and transport is expensive. A reliable electrical grid still bypasses many villages. New borrowers report per capita income at less than $1.25 USD per day. Many WMI borrowers are AIDS widows, caring for 6 or more children, some of whom are orphans. They may be illiterate. They often live in mud-floored houses with dung-smeared walls. Healthcare is erratic and sanitation wanting. Families have little savings for emergencies. Village women are extremely hard-working, have strong entrepreneurship instincts and leadership qualities, and work cooperatively together. Though not formally educated, they are natural businesswomen: intuitive, innovative, market savvy and able to adjust quickly to changing market conditions and opportunities.
Votre solution peut-elle être mise en œuvre dans d'autres régions du monde? Si oui, lesquelles?
Despite well-reported challenges, microfinance continues to be a recognized strategy for sustainable economic improvement in developing economies. Although WMI has chosen to focus on East Africa due to commonalities, stability and geographical contiguousness, the model is applicable world-wide and is easily replicated. What distinguishes WMI and makes it successful is that our model:
Is structured to become financially self-sustaining;
Leverages an existing village social network to amplify outcomes;
Demonstrates a proven track record of returning dramatic social impacts with minimal resources;
Provides village-level access to capital and skills training;
Offers a unique program for ‘graduating’ borrowers to formal banking services (providing borrowers greater diversity and levels of capital, an opportunity to establish formal credit profiles, and access to multiple paths to success); and,
Is run locally by the women borrowers, thus not requiring a permanent “aid” presence.
Si votre solution s'avérait être étonnamment efficace, comment les choses évolueraient-elles dans 10 ans?
WMI’s model delivers a triple bottom line:
1. It gets capital into the hands of impoverished women to start businesses and it provides them with the essential training to make those businesses a success. Result: more rural women supporting their families and improving their living conditions.
2. It builds human capacity in the local CBOs that operate the loan program in the villages. These CBOs provide the infrastructure for knowledge transfer for the entire community and establish a pipeline to deliver goods and services (like solar/fuel efficient stoves) village families need to improve household living standards.
3. It is bringing about structural change in the way banks deal with poor, rural women. WMI has engineered itself into the financial service value chain on the ground - networking village-level CBOs and local banks in a new configuration that had not been considered - and that has resulted in benefits to its partners, its borrowers, and the greater community.
Que faut-il modifier pour y parvenir?
Based on our experience since 2008, we anticipate the following outcomes/success factors:
Increasing numbers of sustainable women-run businesses will reduce poverty in target markets;
Increased incomes, improved household savings/assets, improved standards of living (health, education, wealth) will sustain the impact;
Women will have increased their skills and self-confidence, becoming better advocates for themselves, their families, and their communities;
Development of an infrastructure to support expansion of resources to villages, including improved basic services: clean water, lighting, and education;
WMI borrowers will be able to access diverse products and financial services from established financial service providers to meet their growing business needs;
Financial institutions will have gained increasing numbers of educated and successful rural customers; and,
A reduction in regional dependence on third-party international aid. Loans/training replace subsidies.
Jusqu'à ce jour, quels résultats a obtenu votre projet ?
WMI’s four-year track record and the outcomes to date have been significant. WMI has collected extensive data that substantiate loan program impact – incomes double within 6 months; household savings rates increase; and living standard improved. While these are significant, immediate impacts, evidence shows that long term (4 year) outcomes are even more encouraging and demonstrate that WMI is having a long-term sustainable impact on poverty reduction. Equally as important, WMI is shifting the power center from the banks to the villages by harnessing pent up rural demand for credit which will drive the evolution of better banking products and better access to financial services for the poor. 680 women who would have been denied access to credit are now among the bank’s best customers. WMI’s banking partner reported that the 120 women in independent banking for 24 months fully paid back $171,000 in loans, and more significantly, deposited an equal amount to savings accounts in 2011.
Quelles sont vos prévisions en termes d'impact au cours des cinq prochaines années ?
By 2017, WMI plans to expand its capacity in its existing hubs, by issuing approximately $6 million in new and follow-up loans to 7,500 borrowers, and develop 2 new village hubs per year, providing credit and training to another 3,200 women. 3,000 borrowers will graduate from the WMI loan program to regulated conventional banking during those five years. WMI’s model produces a ‘ripple effect’ on women and their communities. By equipping them with the means and training to operate businesses, women increase their skills and self-confidence. The larger community improves exponentially as more women participate in the program through increased educational and economic opportunities for their households and increased local development through employment and the creation of community wealth.
Quels sont les obstacles qui risquent de freiner votre projet ? Comment pensez-vous les surmonter ?
WMI has not faced any significant barriers for the past 4 years -- poor transportation, lack of electricity, unreliable communications are challenges that rural East Africans manage every day. WMI protects itself from the most obvious risk – borrowers defaulting on loans issued by WMI – by requiring formal loan agreements and pre-approved business plans, local oversight, using peer pressure to ensure payment and by having local partners set aside funds from interest paid on loans for a reserve to cover defaults. To-date there is a 100% repayment record. WMI also maintains the interest paid on guarantee deposits with banks as a reserve to cover defaults on bank-issued Transition Fund Loans. Financially, WMI carries no debt and maintains a high degree of flexibility to minimize risk.
Les meilleures propositions possèdent un programme solide détaillant leurs prévisions pour atteindre et suivre leurs objectifs de croissance. Identifiez vos objectifs à 6 mois pour accroître vos résultats
Assist 1,520 new borrowers; issue $575,000 in loans; and graduate 360 borrowers. 1400 women will have completed the program.
Définissez les trois tâches principales à accomplir pour atteindre ces objectifs à six mois
Assist 16 additional groups of women (20 each) in their transition to independent banking in Uganda
Develop additional business training modules for the women moving to independent banking.
Identify two new village hub locations and village-level partners for 2013.
Et maintenant, voyez les choses en plus grand ! Identifiez vos objectifs à 12 mois
WMI expects to assist 2,000 new borrowers; issue $950,000 USD in loans; and graduate 700 borrowers to independent banking.
Définissez les trois tâches principales à accomplir pour atteindre vos objectifs à 12 mois
Assist 35 additional groups of women in their transition to independent banking.
Complete third-party independent study of program outcomes.
Hold an annual leadership meeting for key personnel in WMI's CBO partners who are managing the new village hub loan programs.
Quels sont vos différents partenariats ?
WMI’s operating model is a regional distribution network of loan hubs, each of which has three critical components: a CBO partner, an NGO operating in the local community, and a Bank partner. In launching new hubs, WMI gives significant consideration to partnering with existing NGOs looking to establish a microfinance component to diversify its existing outreach project. These NGOs also provide local administrative support and grants WMI funds to support the local loan pool. WMI has a waiting list of potential future hubs and expands at the rate of 2-4 new locations annually.
Actuellement, votre projet cible-t-il d'autres populations, lieux ou marchés spécifiques ? Si oui, lesquels et pourquoi ?
Recognizing the strong demand for its services, WMI has developed a strategic growth plan to expand its model and its impact by both expanding its capacity in current operations and expanding to additional locations. It is testing its model in a variety of geographical and cultural areas and with ever- increasing numbers of women. WMI has developed a set of well-defined criteria for selecting expansion hub locations, seeking a balance between regional distribution, identified CBOs already operating in a target area that want to become loan hub partners, and support from our partner banks.
Quel environnement et quels facteurs organisationnels internes font la réussite de votre projet ?
WMI utilizes a hybrid legal form that combines structural building blocks from the non-profit and for-profit arenas. Organized as a conventional not-for-profit corporation in the US, WMI enters contractual agreements with its village CBO partners. WMI’s hybrid structure allows US operations to maintain control, while creating value in the target countries where the loan program is operated by local CBOs. WMI is a successful social enterprise, accessing grant funds as well as generating income from village-level loan programs to cover local operating expenses, expand operations, develop community resources, and provide sustainable financing. It is a simple and flexible model that delivers a large impact and preserves WMI’s decision-making autonomy with a minimum of delay and bureaucracy.
Expliquez plus en détails les besoins et les offres indiqués ci-dessus ou proposez un type d'aide non mentionné dans la liste
|il y a 40 semaines Robyn Nietert updated this Competition Entry.|
|il y a 40 semaines Salim Benhachmi said: Fantastic project! One of my favourite entries in the financial inclusion competition. I'm very curious to know what's the success rate ... about this Competition Entry. - lire plus >|
|il y a 42 semaines Robyn Nietert updated this Competition Entry.|
|il y a 44 semaines Robyn Nietert updated this Competition Entry.|
|il y a 45 semaines Robyn Nietert updated this Competition Entry.|
|il y a 45 semaines Robyn Nietert updated this Competition Entry.|
|il y a 45 semaines Robyn Nietert submitted this idea.|