Monday, 12 July 2010
Business/Microfinance: Womens Trust
About Our Programs from WomensTrust Inc. on Vimeo.
***Like most, I believe that the way forward for our beloved Ghana is through enterprise –and the founder of Womens Trust, Dana Dakin [I thank God for her life] agrees. Please read the following for more information about this wonderful woman and the great work she and team Womens Trust -are doing for our sisters in Pokuase, Ghana.
"In 2003, to mark her 60th birthday and the beginning of the “give-back” stage of life, Dana Dakin traveled to Ghana, West Africa, with the express purpose of launching a microfinance program for women. From the perspective of 35 successful years as an entrepreneur servicing the investment field, microlending made sense as the most promising way to bring about real change. By providing access to capital directly to poor women, they could fuel the drive toward their own economic well-being as well as that of their families. The choice of Africa was the culmination of a college thesis on Pan-Africanism and a lifelong interest in the continent.
Today, WomensTrust is a 501(c)(3) organization showing seven years of success. With microfinance at the heart of its activities, and the essential additional components of education and healthcare integrated into the program, WomensTrust is a model to bring resources and community-based support directly to the developing world.
What is microfinance?
At the core of WomensTrust is microfinance, which has been called “the most effective tool to fight poverty ever invented .” Put on the map by Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, microfinance is now widely embraced as a powerful method for helping people climb out of poverty.
WomensTrust has over 1,000 loan clients – all women who own local businesses, with many struggling to make $2 per day. We ask them to form small groups in order to apply for individual loans. Each member of a group is responsible for repaying her own loan in addition to making sure the others do the same. Eligibility for the next, higher round of loans is based solely on timely and full repayment by their group.
Here is how the women use their loans.
Most of our clients make their living in the informal economy as hairdressers, bakers, seamstresses, and “petty” traders, selling goods from tables and tiny kiosks or carrying them from place to place. With WomensTrust capital, they are able to increase or diversify their inventories. They can buy in bulk, decreasing their time away from work traveling to buy supplies. Profits accrued are immediately invested in better nutrition, healthcare, and education for themselves and their children."
***To donate or learn more about Womens Trust, please visit: http://womenstrust.org/