Monday, April 22, 2013

New loans, improved businesses, and more help in Nicaragua

Kyle and the PHPG team just finished distributing to six new loan groups in Granada (28 individuals in total) for a total of 117,000 Cordobas or around $5,000. The average loan was roughly $175. For folks living on close to $2 per day, these loans are quite significant. As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, PHPG assists these families by providing them enough working capital to increase confidence and financial transparency to a point where that they can focus on medium to long term goals of taking their business to the next level. It was great to see a handful of repeat borrowers this time around. The individuals that successfully completed a prior loan with PHPG have access to more credit and enjoy a faster turnaround time to receiving their loan.

One repeat borrower stood out. Her name is Gema Lisseth and she received her second loan with PHPG for 5,000 Cordobas. When the PHPG team arrived at her house to check on her inventory purchases before distributing the second half of the loan (she sells new and used clothing), we were blown away by her brand new store-front constructed in front of her home. She mentioned in her interview that she wanted to create a little “tiendita” but we weren’t expecting such a quick turnaround. Gema had been selling clothing from a cart that she takes around the neighborhood, but with another loan and more confidence she decided to sell some out of her home too. We could tell how proud she was to show us her new shelves and clothing rack.  Kyle looks forward to stopping by her house each Friday for payment collection.

Gema Liseth & Isela in front of their new storefront
Next week PHPG will be distributing a new round of loans to repeat borrowers on Las Isletas in Lake Nicaragua. A total of 112,000 Cordobas will be distributed across 26 individuals that qualified. The majority of borrowers in Las Isletas are Pescadores (fishermen) requesting loans to fix their boats, purchase new nets, and buy salt for preservation. Many of the fishermen aspire to save enough money to buy their own boat in the future. For now, most loan participants rent their boats and pay the owner in fish after the day’s catch.

PHPG team disbursing new loans
Kyle is keeping busy with all of this, but luckily he will have a few new volunteers joining him over the next month. A few university students are coming down in May for summer internship positions and Kyle is excited to put them to work. There are a lot more improvements to be made and it will be nice to have a fresh set of eager eyes on the project.