Empower the poor by promoting innovative savings and micro-credit programmes along with business training and holistic development.
Microfinance initiatives support small businesses. Through training and small loans, Five Talents helps to establish and nurture small businesses. Training in business skills combines with loans for stock, equipment, raw materials, land, premises etc. ( to help establish grocers, hairdressers, bakers, brick-makers, shoe-repairers) This tackles poverty bottom up. Each business builds economic independence for the individual entrepreneur, their families and the families of those they employ. Employment and independence bring dignity. Five Talents creates jobs to fight poverty.
Microenterprise development is an efficient and effective method for fighting poverty and raising entrepreneurs in developing countries. By contrast, top-down grant programmes often lead to dependency. Micro-loans programmes maintain ownership and responsibility with the entrepreneur significantly enhancing the success rate. Since the loan capital is constantly revolving to other entrepreneurs, it is an extremely cost-effective method of micro-enterprise development.
"Since 1999, Five Talents has provided funding for technical assistance and thousands of small loans to entrepreneurs in 12 countries in Africa, Central and South America, and Asia. Each loan finances a business that in turn employs 2-10 other people. Women represent 68% of all loan recipients."
In most cases we follow the 10-step procedure below:
We have produced a 9 minute video showing Five Talents at work in Uganda - business training, client interviews, some case studies and an overview of how Five Talents works with the active poor. Click here to view.
"Master," he said, "You have entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more." His master replied. "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful in a few things; I will put you in charge of many things" (Matthew 25:20-21).
This parable is a brilliant example of good stewardship, investment returns, risk-taking, self-motivation, accountability and many other topics useful for successful business. We have now seen 16,000 clients take small loans and after a few months come back saying "look what I've achieved!"
If clients wish, they can apply for second and subsequent loans ( slightly bigger than before ) as they build their track record.
The parable reminds us that:
Five Talents currently supports loan programmes in the following countries.Click on a link to find more details:
Five Talents targets those at the bottom of the economic ladder. We use the grassroots network of the worldwide Anglican church to help identify projects and local partners. We insist on strict reporting and make on-site visits to ensure good use of loan and training funds.
Local banks cannot afford to lend small sums of money to many entrepreneurs who have little or no collateral. The risks are too high.
But Group-lending is a proven methodology of micro-enterprise development. Groups are normally formed of 5-10 people who self-select each other. Each member of the group co-guarantees the loans of the others. This peer pressure ensures high repayment rates, averaging 85-100%. The group method also reduces the costs of loan administration, monitoring and follow-up.
Bono, Lead Singer, U2
You know that mantra, "Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime?" It's missing something: microfinance is the fishing rod, the boat, the net, etc.
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