Many of the hardworking poor in developing countries—often illiterate—become entrepreneurs by default. At a local market or on a busy street corner, they try to sell fruit, household items, or soft drinks. Some work to produce and sell handicrafts, and still others operate their own small repair shops.
Unfortunately, people living in poverty are ill-equipped to start, manage, and expand a business. They lack the collateral for a decent loan. Also, basic principles like savings, sales, customer service, bookkeeping, and planning are, for them, entirely new concepts.
With microcredit, the poor gain the ability to work their way out of poverty one step at a time.
Microcredit is the extension of very small business loans at affordable interest rates. With these loans, people work their way out of poverty as they build businesses and generate steady incomes. As their incomes increase, they are able to feed their children nutritious foods, buy books and school uniforms, and pay tuition for better schools. Many eventually hire additional employees in their growing businesses, creating jobs and providing income to more families.
A microloan is attractive to the hardworking poor. They know that if they repay their loans, they can take out more and bigger loans in the future.
Microloans enable poor entrepreneurs to:
With just a simple loan and no training or mentoring, people don’t have the knowledge to fully develop their businesses.
Mentors International provides personalized training and consulting services overseas that help the poor to make sound business and financial decisions. Teaching life skills and principles that foster leadership and commitment, Mentors trains clients to cut costs, to create additional product lines, and to manage their personal finances.
Such an education, combined with microcredit, gives people tools to increase their incomes and expand their businesses now and into the future. They make a difference in their villages and experience the great dignity that comes through self-reliance.