What is microfinance?
Among the poorest people in urban areas, BigDent's goal is to facilitate transformation through microfinance programs. This approach enables the poor to develop and to maintain their own productive economic activities while they receive training, mentoring, and support.
In the fight against global poverty, microfinance is a powerful weapon. For developing countries, its efforts:
- Employ up to 70% of the labor force.
- Create work for women and minority groups, as well as the uneducated and unskilled.
- Provide needed products and services.
- Develop the entrepreneurial spirit and personal pride of people oppressed by the poverty around them.
BigDent's microfinance program includes:
- Loans. Trained entrepreneurs receive loans of varying amounts to start new businesses and expand existing businesses. Microloans operate on very simple concepts: training, planning, more training, mentoring, investment, repayment of loans, saving money, accountability, support, and success. As an entrepreneur's business grows, additional loans are made available to expand. Women and men become empowered to control their own economic state and future, and this empowerment leads to an improved standard of living and subsequent changes in behavior. As poverty's grip loosens, the entrepreneur gains self-respect and the strength to stop doing drugs, to quit making illegal alcohol, to escape prostitution, and to leave a life of crime and violence. Families are fed, clothed and educated. Community standards begin to rise.
- Saving Accounts. Entrepreneurs are required to establish a savings account prior to receiving their first loan. Our microfinance program functions like a bank for these entrepreneurs creating an opportunity for most of them to utilize checking and savings accounts for the first time. The result is greater economic stability and security for the entrepreneur and his or her family.
- Training. Several levels and types of training are provided to prepare and equip entrepreneurs to launch and/or grow their businesses. Training and preparation includes participation in a weekly accountability group, eight core moral integrity lessons and instruction on basic business principles.
How does BigDent's microfinance program work? Check out the menus to the left.