Institutional Action Plan Raffle Winner: Fundación delamujer (Colombia)

Congratulations to the first winner of the Raffle for Institutional Action Plan Submitters, Fundación delamujer of Colombia!

Fundación delamujer: A National Propeller in Microfinance Development

Throughout its 26 years of operation, Fundación delamujer has continually contributed to the development of microfinance in Colombia. Their accomplishments in the field of microfinance are due to their commitment to solid corporate principles of working for the economic and social development of low-income populations, particularly women who struggle to obtain a better quality of life for their families through their businesses. In order to target this problem directly, Fundación delamujer offers products and services based on the needs of microbusinesses. These products and services are designed to facilitate access to credit on the premise of granting “responsible credit.” This institutional parameter follows a microfinance methodology that provides clients with access to microcredit financing based on their ability to pay, with the overall objective of avoiding excessive over-indebtedness. This access to credit provides families with a formal and accessible option while rescuing them from constant worry and the use of loan-sharks.

The institutional objectives followed by Fundación delamujer stem from the concept of social responsibility. These objectives focus on using the best banking practices and access to credit through financial education, client protection, and transparency, among others. At the same time, the institution’s longevity and corporate sustainability guarantee the provision of quality services, product portfolio opportunities, and a logical cost based on the industry and the country’s situation.

Fundación delamujer is committed to expanding the reach of microfinance by sponsoring growth within the industry at a low risk, achieving what traditional banking has not achieved because of costs and transactions. Its contribution to the field is notable in its credit reach, paying out 30% of its credit in amounts under US$ 500. Also, despite the competition, Fundación delamujer delivers totals starting at US$170 through products with installments adjusted to the businesses’ cash flows. Its presence in aiding close to 470 of the country’s municipalities allows it to expand its credit offers and to directly inject productive resources into the regions. This contributes to income generation, business growth, and improved economic conditions for local businesses.

Contributing to credit access has led to the implementation of the communal bank methodology, in which groups of low-income individuals participate in financing through “banks” committed to management and solidarity payments. There are presently 250 communal banks, with a possibility for growth, all of which are located in rural zones at accessible distances and with vulnerable populations. As a result, the groups find financial support that they otherwise would not easily find through an individual or formal credit method. Fundación delamujer seeks to provide credit education and to pull these types of clients out of financial anonymity in order to forge a path to improve their debt profile.

An important focus of Fundación delamujer is its support for women, especially in their roles as heads of family. Presently, close to 70% of credit is given to women of different ages and socio-economic backgrounds.

Although new actors appear each day and the market grows, offering microcredit, Fundación delamujer remains focused on financing productive activities of individuals and their families whose initial access to credit is not taken on by formal banking due to the costs and risks involved. Its work of incorporating credit subjects into the market and managing an adequate risk profile will continue to be Fundación delamujer’s operational spirit, based on the fundamentals of microfinance.