Founded on the radical idea that giving small loans to people in poverty has the power to transform entire communities in a sustainable way, FINCA International has provided tens of millions of families with access to financial services.
Headquartered in Washington DC and working since 1984, FINCA International has created a global network of 20 microfinance institutions and banks known as FINCA Impact Finance (FIF) to enable low-income individuals and communities to invest in their futures.
FINCA works with partners in agriculture, health care, clean energy, FinTech and other sectors to realize their vision of building a global network of sustainable and scalable social enterprises that alleviate poverty.
FIF is leveraging the power of technology to expand financial inclusion, putting financial power in the hands of their customers, no matter where they live. They focus on reaching people in remote communities using technology like mobile phones and tablets; and by providing access to life enhancing products such as solar home systems and clean cookstoves.
Starting a shop with children's futures in mind
Hayat Abdul Karim Majid is from western Sudan. In 2009, she fled her family home in search of safety from the long-running War in Darfur. Hayat, her husband, and their children moved repeatedly in the ensuing years. In 2016, they arrived at the Kiryandongo refugee settlement where she and other refugees received land, shelter, and support from the government of Uganda and international aid agencies.
Hayat dreamed, however, of earning money so that her children – two boys and two girls ranging in age from five to thirteen – could have the life and education denied to her. To realize this dream, she and her husband built a small shop on the land the government gave them where she sells basic grocery items like milk, crackers, soap, juice and her special product, a perfume that she makes herself.
The loans Hayat has received from FINCA have allowed her to purchase more inventory and increase her profits. Additionally, she was able to open a small restaurant that employs three people and most recently opened a business selling charcoal.
As Hayat has repeatedly told her loan officer, “I work all this work and I took the loan because of my children. I need my children to be happy. I need my children to learn in very good schools. I need my children to be doctors and that’s why I took the loan from FINCA and I work hard like that.”
The Praxis commitment
Praxis Mutual Funds supports organizations such as FINCA through investments in Calvert Impact, an impact-investing institution that helps people around the world through community development financing. It’s part of the Praxis commitment to place approximately 1% of each of its funds to benefit neighborhoods and individuals through community development investments.