Position paper of vision:teilen’s micro credit project

100 Euro for a better life: today micro credits are an important mean of development aid for the poor who don’t own credit-worthy assets and therefore are excluded by banks from common economic activities. Whenever they were in need to lend money, they so far were dependent on so called money lenders, who demanded extraordinary interest rates and pay back options. Thus, often lenders were pulled into a swamp of debts. In 2012, vision:teilen followed the principles of Muhammad Yunus, founder of the micro credit system in Bangladesh and Nobel prize winner, and established a micro credit project in Kenya.

- Micro credits (up to 100 Euro per woman / year) are handed-out to small groups who cooperate for a common business concept and act as guarantors for each other

- Prior-ranking is the security of the starting loan for the groups of 15 members each, so they can start their businesses and expand it subsequently.

- Business concepts with a short turnover period are preferred, as the invested money including profit can be paid back during the year.

- Micro credits are particularly targeted for women who show more endurance power and stronger motivation, especially with the goal to provide food and education for their children.

 - An intensive, continuous and competed supervision of these group is crucial for their economic success. The first five groups, who already successfully paid back loans and interests, were accompanied by a supervising local sister. (Advisory, pay-back and contact at the office in Molo, Kenya).

- The overall coordination is in the hands of the Molo-based secretary of our partner organization vision:teilen-Kenya Assoc. (own legal entity).

- The total amount which is paid-back accounts for 110% of the initially handed out sum. The surplus of 10% is meant to cover all administration, operating and travel costs.

In Düsseldorf, a small group of motivated volunteers and donators accompanies the project. All initial financing comes from donations to vision:teilen, Düsseldorf. The provincial authority of the Land North Rhine Westfalia (Staatskanzlei) kindly provided a starting capital of 8,772 Euro, in line with the support of development projects of local associations in North Rhine Westfalia.

The year 2014 will be characterized by an even stronger focus on education and training: In May 2014, the first congress took place with many workshops for the new groups. Also, ten new groups will be granted a new loan to set up a business and so improve their economic situation significantly.  

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