Supporting enterprises behind bars

Supporting enterprises behind bars

Trujillo, PeruPeru
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Solidarity Micro-finance Fond for women deprived of liberty

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The problem of basic needs satisfaction has always existed in jails. A way that women in prison have to deal with it is to generate incomes through productive work. This activity has a very important role in human development for their re-socialization. However, to get employment for people in prison and better human conditions, requires institutions’ solidarity as AMAS’s, due to their limited access to working capital and being excluded from the financial system.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Facilitate credit access to women deprived of their liberty, in order to promote and defend their human rights, particularly the right to work, which can dignify them and contribute to their re-socialization. Develop productive activities will also allow them to pay their basic needs and give economic support to the families out of prison. In addition, working promotion of women in prison shows their longing to progress, despite the adverse reality they live. Their longing for better living conditions and a real opportunity for the future out a prison shows that a productive activity can be done. It is also a good example for other prisoners.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

At the beginning of the program, Rocio B.G. who works as a knitter, has a working capital of S/. 140.00 (US$ 53.9), but she hasn’t earned enough to maintain her mother and children, her personal expenses and pay for her lawyer. That’s why she had to ask for loans with, some times, 30% of monthly interests. That alternative was the only one for other prisoners too. Rocio was one of the first beneficiaries to a credit for S/. 300.00 (US$ 115.38). Then, she received three more credits for S/. 500.00 (US$ 192.31), S/. 1000.00 (US$ 384.62), and finally S/. 1500.00 (US$ 576.92). The loan she currently manages is for S/. 2000.00 (US$ 769.23). All of them were punctually paid, with low interests to cover minimum operating expenses. Due to the high quality of her product, she expanded her market, even exporting some of them and asking for partners help to finish the orders.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

As far as we know, there are no similar experiences in this country.

Founding Story

Before starting this initiative, AMA has offered educational programs, integrating activities and healthy recreation for women in Trujillo’s Penitentiary Institution. Through these activities, we were able to identify the productive potential some women had and also their needs and the barriers they met. Looking for a solution to this problem, we created an alliance with the Direction and the Working Area of the Penitentiary and also with the Pastoral Department of Trujillo’s Archbishopric, in order to support the program operation.
About You
Asociación Mujeres en Acción (ama)
About You
First Name

Rosa Elizabeth

Last Name

Urtecho Vargas

About Your Organization
Organization Name

Asociación Mujeres en Acción (ama)

Organization Country

, LD

Country where this project is creating social impact

, LD, Trujillo

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them

- Diploma de Reconocimiento del Centro de Promoción de la Mujer “Micaela Bastidas”, por contribuir a la promoción de los derechos de la mujer y de las personas con discapacidad.
- Diploma de Honor del Club Soroptimista Internacional - Filial Trujillo, por contribuir a la promoción de la mujer y a la equidad de género en la Provincia de Trujillo.
- Reconocimiento de la Municipalidad Provincial de Trujillo, por la labor realizada en forma consecutiva a favor del bienestar de la población femenina y de otros grupos poblacionales de las diversas provincias del Departamento La Libertad, a través del establecimiento de relaciones sociales equitativas, mejoramiento de las condiciones de vida y fomento de la micro y pequeña empresa.
- Reconocimiento con Medalla de Oro y felicitación del Gobierno Regional La Libertad, por el aporte al desarrollo socio-económico de las mujeres de la Región La Libertad.

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How long have you been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your innovation addresses? Choose up to two

Access, Equity.

Social Impact
Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve

Encourage social inclusion through productive work of women in prison, who access to credits for developing their business and improving their quality of life.

Which barrier(s) to financial inclusion does your solution seek to address? (select all applicable)

Physical and other accessibility obstacles that prevent communities from reaching financial services, The lack of affordable financial products tailored to the needs of underserved and excluded communities,.

If you selected 'other' above, please specify which other barriers to financial inclusion you solution seeks to address:
For which underserved or excluded communities will your solution create access to valuable, affordable, secure and comprehensive financial services?

We know that work is necessary and dignifies people. This happens also in prison and it is even more significant for people in jail, because it gives them the opportunity to be prepared for a productively inclusion in society.
Designed by taking into account their financial needs, this initiative offers them affordable credits, along with training courses of personal development and corporate management.

Could your solution work in other geographies or regions? If so, where?

We consider that this experience can be successfully replicated, benefiting more women in other national and foreign prisons.
We expect to expand the program to men in other Penitentiary Centers Trujillo’s city, where there are also economic initiatives to generate income, but overcrowd and poor conditions make it more difficult to perform.

If your solution is dramatically successful, how will things be different in 10 years?

In ten years we expect to:
- Increase the opportunities to develop productive and/or corporate skills of the beneficiaries of this program and other institutional initiatives.
- Make people in prison think and use their time correctly, diminishing the risk of improper behaviors, bad for their social re-adaptation and re-inclusion.
- Encourage their business sustainability to guarantee their economic autonomy and family’s support, during their time in prison and after they recover their freedom.
- Promote “productive working culture” as prisoners’ daily practice creating strategic alliances with other institutions, raising awareness of their social marginalized situation.

What will have had to have changed to make this happen?

- More economic resources to increase the number of beneficiaries
- Strengthen the alliances with institutions supporting the program and include others, interested in prison population’s re-socialization.
- Develop technical-productive training and management programs, in order to improve the workforce, business development and sustained growth of current business.
- Promote human development of prisoners with programs that improve their self-esteem, social relationships, values and social coexistence rules.
- Society awareness rise by trading networks of prisoners’ products and services.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

- 47 affordable credits given to people excluded from the financial system and society.
- 17 benefited women, managing small business despite adverse conditions.
- Due to dignified productive activities, we have strengthened prisoners’ self-esteem and confidence, helping them to preserve the activity they will be able to perform when they get out of prison.
- Better living conditions and social image of women in prisons, improving their family support and access to legal consulting.

What is your projected impact over the next five years?

- Expand the program to men penitentiary centers.
- Develop managing training and technical-productive programs.
- Achieve long-term sustainability and productivity of current business.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

- Limited economic resources to assist men asking to be included in the program.
- Limited supplies needed for business. No appropriate places for operating. No access to technology that would improve production.
- Loss originated by market rules.
- Deterioration of beneficiaries’ mental and physical health, hindering their work and income generation.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

Achieve 25% more given credits and 5 more new beneficiaries of the program.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

 Visitar negocios de las beneficiarias para evaluar necesidades de financiamiento.

Task 2

 Identificar clientes potenciales para acceder a los beneficios del programa.

Task 3

 Realizar seguimiento del destino de los créditos otorgados.

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Achieve 50% more given credits and 10 more new beneficiaries of the program.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

 Asesorar la gestión de los negocios para asegurar su crecimiento y sostenibilidad.

Task 2

 Difundir las experiencias exitosas en toda la población penal y en la comunidad.

Task 3

 Promover los beneficios de pago puntual para mantener vigencia en el acceso a créditos.

Tell us about your partnerships

- Trujillo’s Penitentiary Institution for Women, institution under the authority of National Penitentiary Institution (INPE) and the Ministry of Justice. It is responsible for promoting the integral development of people in jail, in order to support their re-socialization and society inclusion.
- Pastoral Department of Trujillo’s Archbishopric, promoting solidarity to people in prison, productive work to income generation and spiritual strengthening to tolerate life in jail.

Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your innovation? If so, where and why?

For more than 10 years, AMA is developing a micro-finance program for micro-entrepreneurs, focusing in women with commercial services activities in rural and sub urban areas. This program has seven agencies located in Trujillo, Huamachuco, Otuzco, Santiago de Chuco, Virú, Paiján and Pacasmayo, La Libertad- Perú and facilitates the access to formal credit of excluded women.

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

We have technical resources that allow us to operate and control the innovative pilot.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

We need more investment to operate this Social Responsibility program, emphasizing people in prison. We also need to develop a marketing campaign to widespread the program’s benefits.