“There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.”
Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General
CAUSE Canada’s Microfinance Program works with poor and marginalized women in the rural regions of Central America and West Africa. We provide small loans in combination with business training to female entrepreneurs to help grow their businesses, increase their household incomes, and provide employment for others in their community. In the fight against poverty, we believe a best practice for long-term development is to provide opportunities to the inspired.
How we work
Our Microfinance Program is based on a Grameen-style microcredit lending model. In partnership with the Butterfly Effects Microcredit Foundation which provides loan capital, this program supplies borrower solidarity groups of 4-6 women with collateral free loans.
CAUSE Canada trains women in business skills then they are provided a small loan for a period of 3-12 months depending on their business. Upon successful repayment of the loan, a solidarity group is granted a slightly larger loan and provided with additional training and support from CAUSE Canada’s national staff or partners.
CAUSE Canada believes in accountability and transparency in its programming. Our in-country staff train, support, and monitor the program outcomes and finances, enabling us to ensure that funding for the program is utilized in the most effective means possible. While the majority of the interest charged on each loan is used to cover operational expenses, the interest is also used to grow the loan principal so we can increase our beneficiary base – helping to build a long-term self-sustaining program.
Where we work
CAUSE Canada has been partnering with the Butterfly Effect Microcredit Foundation for over 9 years and currently operates in Guatemala, Honduras, and Sierra Leone.
In Sierra Leone we work in the northern district of Koinadugu providing small loans to over 500 borrowers in the rural communities surrounding the district’s capital of Kabala.
In Honduras we have three areas of operation across the country with a collective client base of over 900 women.
In Guatemala we are active in the regions of Comitancillo and Todos Santos, in the Western Highlands of the country – collectively providing credit to over 1,700 borrowers.
The business types vary dramatically across countries with the most common businesses being potato cultivation and pig rearing in Guatemala, cooking and the sale of prepared foods in Honduras, and petty trading in Sierra Leone.