Adelante Foundation

Adelante Foundation

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$500,000 - $1 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

Adelante's primary mission is to empower poor women in rural areas of Honduras to start up or expand their own small businesses. This enables them to improve the standard of living of themselves and their whole family. We achieve this by making small loans and providing bi-monthly business education lessons.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In Honduras, 67% of the country's 8.2 million population lives below the poverty line while the country has one of the most unequal income distributions in the world. Hondurans suffer from underemployment rates of over 50%. Rural Hondurans face poverty with much greater prevalence than urbanized Hondurans. Just under half of Hondurans live in rural areas but 72% of the rural population lives in poverty. The neglect that rural Hondurans endure from governments results in the continuation of poverty in rural communities. Further, studies have found women to experience poverty more intensely than men, leaving women to hold the greatest burden.

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

Adelante focuses its integrative microfinance-education program in rural areas of Honduras and over 99% of clients are women. We provide them with small loans to invest in their micro-businesses so that they and their families can enjoy an improved standard of living. Our combination of small business loans and business development education ensures our clients become successful micro-entrepreneurs. The majority of our loan pool is dedicated to our solidarity group loan product. Clients do not need to own a home or have another form of collateral; instead the pressure involved in the solidarity group loan structure affords eligibility to those who need it most. Once a client develops a solid credit history they become eligible for individual business and home improvement loans.
Impact: How does it Work

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

Aida Zulema is an example of one Adelante client who has seen a dramatic increase in economic opportunities since taking out her first loan five years ago. Although her children are older, she is now responsible for raising two grandchildren as her own and is also partially responsible for three more. With the help of Adelante, Aida began her own convenience store after selling lottery tickets in local communities for more than 25 years. Although she continues to travel to sell lottery tickets on the weekends, she is grateful that she and her husband have a steadier source of income with the grocery store. Her husband helps her with the store and also grows vegetable local crops to feed his family. Her first loan was for about $26.00 and her eleventh, most current loan is for about $633.00. The growth that Aida has experienced demonstrates that many women only require very small loan amounts in order to get started on a successful business venture and expand the economic opportunities for their family. Aida’s story is only one from the over 6,000 clients Adelante currently serves and 54,983 clients since beginning in 2000.

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

Adelante's competition includes 23 other microfinance institutions that operate within Honduras. We take pride in maintaining our focus on poor rural women, who have less access to economic advancement than others in Honduras. Due to our own commitment to maintaining our mission, Adelante considers it to be a disadvantage to us and to all microfinance institutions when one institution operates irresponsibly. This behavior reduces the confidence that we have built in our own clients and the overall perception of microfinance around the world.

Founding Story

On October 28, 1998, Honduras suffered from its greatest national catastrophe when Hurricane Mitch made landfall on the Honduran northern coast. The hurricane resulted in leaving 51% of the population homeless, a total of $3.8 billion in damages and the ruin of 90% of banana crops and 70% of total crops. The devastation that the country had become faced with was what inspired Tony Stone, a Stanford graduate, to return to Honduras. Tony spent most of his childhood in La Ceiba and upon arriving back to the country, Tony found that the rural areas of Honduras had been largely ignored despite facing greater poverty rates than urban areas. Adelante was then established in 1999 and began its first loan disbursements on September 14, 2000.
About You
Adelante Foundation
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

Adelante Foundation

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact
Age of Innovator

Over 34

Gender of Innovator


How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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How long have you been in operation?

Operating for more than 5 years

Social Impact
What solution(s) does your initiative address to help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in underserved communities? (select all applicable)

Access to financing, Access to economic opportunity.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

Since September 2000 Adelante has disbursed over 74,300 loans to more than 54,983 clients. These loans total over 9.3 million dollars. Without these loans, many women would have never been able to improve their families’ standard of living through the application of small business loans.

Our clients know well that our impact goes beyond statistics on loan disbursements. Teresa Rivera, a client from Atlantida recently told us, "What’s good about Adelante is that it’s not just an economic help, but the educational presentations too, they help us to manage our businesses better." The business education that the Credit Officers provide gives our clients invaluable lessons on managing their businesses which is particularly important to those who were not able to complete or attend secondary school.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

We expect to continue growing our loan pool for our current three loan products while expanding into other loan products and services that will serve rural poor women of Honduras, including educational, agricultural and fixed asset loans, micro insurance, micro pensions, mobile banking and a more advanced business development service.
We also expect to create strategic partnerships to offer value added services including water, electricity, clean stoves and preventative health.

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

We have been operationally self-sustainable since 2010 due to our high repayment rates and by expanding loan pool with interest paid. However, we plan to expand loan pool to more than what we could do individually. We continue to seek out new avenues of funding, particularly with grants. We expect to continue to receive high repayment rates because of the entrepreneurial education we provide our clients at their bi-monthly assembly meetings and their regular contact with Adelante Credit Officers. The insecurity and corruption are destabilizing factors within Honduras, making our work more difficult and dangerous, although not impossible, to fulfill.

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

Expand our loan pool for Home Improvement Loan so that more of our clients can measurably improve their standard of living.

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

Secure at least $45,000 in outside funding to be invested in the Home Improvement Loan in the next six months

Task 2

Identify 15 clients per month with excellent repayment histories to be recipients of the loans.

Task 3

Evaluate the clients chosen and disburse the loans.

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

By the end of 12 months we hope to see measurable results demonstrating success in fulfilling our social mission.

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

Carry out the second round of Progress out of Poverty Index surveys to measure improvement in our clients' standard of living.

Task 2

Compare results to the baseline data gathered in 2011.

Task 3

Analyze data to determine whether we are having a measurable impact or, if not, determine our weaknesses and adjust accordingly.

Tell us about your partnerships

We currently partner with Women's Empowerment International, Rotary International and are affiliated with Mix Market, Redmicroh and Redcamif.

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 utilize the Progress out of Poverty Index and will soon begin our collaboration with the Social Performance Task Force. We are open to providing information to other organizations to develop mutually beneficial relationships. In addition we maintain affiliation with Mix Market, Redmicroh and Redcamif.