A tiny loan provided to a small scale enterprise goes a long way in improving the socio-economic status of the people who receive those loans. Work done by Mohammed Yunus, Grameen Bank founder and Nobel Prize winner, in the microfinance arena shows that this is perhaps the best tool for poverty alleviation and economic growth in emerging economies. Closer to home, Working Capital for Community Needs (WCCN), a local micro-credit financial institution, has experienced this first-hand. WCCN, in partnership with community-based organizations, provides financing to low-income Latin American entrepreneurs. These small loans enable businesses to grow their operations and work their way out of poverty.
The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, in partnership with WCCN, is proud to present a microfinance seminar April 27, 2010. Representatives from Latin American microfinance and community development agencies will share their stories and discuss the beneficial impact these loans have had on the lives of the poor and marginalized families in their respective countries.
- Carlos Felipe Tzoc, Asociacion de Desarrollo Integral Rural (Association for the Development of Rural Communities, ASDIR) in Guatemala. ASDIR primarily lends to the indigenous Mayan people of the Guatemala highlands.
- Zobeida Hernandez, PRODESA in Nicaragua. PRODESA provides microfinance services in the southeastern part of the Nicaraguan Atlantic Coast. Their approach focuses on business development, housing, and youth programs.
- Pedro Morales, CCAMETRO in El Salvador. CCAMETRO is a credit union based in Sal Salvador.
Innovations in Microfinance: Experiences in Central America
Date: April 27, 2010
Place: Room 115 Taylor Hall
Since 1984, Working Capital for Community Needs (formerly known as the Wisconsin Coordinating Council on Nicaragua) has partnered with individuals and organizations in Latin America and the U.S. to provide $50 million in micro-credit, reaching over 300,000 people as they work their way out of poverty.