BUILDING BUSINESSES AND IMPACTING LIVES
WHEN OUR MICROFINANCE INSTITUTION IN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC BEGAN OPERATIONS IN 1994, ITS FIRST LOANS WENT TO 16 RESIDENTS IN THE SLUMS OF THE COUNTRY. THESE RESIDENTS WERE UNABLE TO DEVELOP BUSINESSES DUE TO HIGH INTEREST RATES FROM LOAN SHARKS AND THEY STRUGGLED TO PROVIDE FOR THEIR FAMILIES. SINCE THEN, THESE BUSINESSES, AND MANY MORE HAVE THRIVED DUE TO SMALL AFFORDABLE LOANS.
18 years later and our MFI remains focused on empowering customers living in high levels of poverty. Over 80% of our clients live in rural areas, typically having a low level of education and income. Our clients are geographically located in communities where World Vision works; Independence, Bahoruco, Azua, Santa Cruz del Seybo, Villa Altagracia and Sabana Perdida in Santo Domingo. These areas are characterised by acute poverty, unemployment and lack of financial and non-financial resources. However, they have a high production potential. 68% of our borrowers are dedicated to trade, 14% to services and 10% to agriculture.