MicrolendingCasa Colibri Collaborates with The Columbia Project Global to Create a Path to Economic Freedom
Casa Colibri began working with The Columbia Project–TCP Global in 2015 to instill a program to fund micro-loans to communities surrounding the clinic. A local partner distributes the funds as loans to marginalized entrepreneurs and mentors them to ensure their business success. This program is well on its way to sustainability with all funds received invested, repaid and reinvested twice as of late 2016.
Sustainable Change through Business Development
In March of 2015, Casa Colibri expanded services to include low-interest micro-loans. With more income, families can afford water filters, healthier food, alternatives to cooking over open fires and basic medicines, all of which support the Casa Colibri mission. In just the first 16 months, 55 loans were issued and repaid on schedule for small businesses such as sewing, animal husbandry, sale of food and household items, small restaurants and even computer services.
The loans are administered by the Village Health Promoters and Casa Colibri staff with mentoring by The Colombia Project – TCP Global which also provides funding and report management. In the first 16 months, Casa Colibri earned $2700 by administering the program, of which $1500 was used for clinic maintenance.
As long as the program continues to do well, TCP Global will send additional funds until the permanent loan pool is sufficient to meet the ongoing micro-loan needs of the settlements. The long range goal is for each settlement to manage its own permanent loan pool.
Loans range from $120 to $220 and are typically repaid in 6 months at 1.25% interest per month, significantly lower than interest of up to 10% per day charged by daily lenders.
In addition to the benefits to the individual borrowers who see an increase in their family income, their communities also benefit from the additional goods and services they provide and both Casa Colibri and the settlements have the opportunity to earn funds for small projects.