Archives For Microfinance

Mauvalyn Bowen - Wedding

A passion for entrepreneurship can be kindled in a number of different ways.

For some, it’s the classic childhood lemonade stand that initially piques interest; others point to a formative internship or mentor; and for others, it’s building upon an earlier innovation. For Mauvalyn Bowen, a member of HOPE’s local board in Minnesota, it was riding on the back of a donkey as she and her mother (pictured above, along with Mauvlyn’s father and husband) made their weekly trek to market. Continue Reading…

Many small businesses in middle-income countries have outgrown typical microfinance loan sizes but still do not qualify for commercial lending. Stuck in the “missing middle,” these companies have great potential to provide jobs and contribute to the local economy, yet credit barriers stand in their way. Continue Reading…

Farmers in rural, agricultural areas of Burundi face a number of challenges unique to their remote location, including limited access to educational opportunities and financial exclusion:

40 percent of Burundian adults living in rural areas qualify as “illiterate*”[1]

5.3 percent of Burundian farmers hold an account with a formal financial institution[2]

Yet it is precisely among underserved communities that Turame Community Finance, HOPE’s microfinance institution in Burundi, seeks to work. Clients living in rural villages hold over 90 percent of Turame’s current outstanding loans.

Unlike a traditional bank, however, Turame’s mission goes beyond financial transactions, offering biblically based business training to its clients, and even to those who do not hold an account.

But Turame had a challenge: how to share robust stewardship training with those who may not only be accessing financial services for the first time, but may also have limited reading skills. Continue Reading…

Pat Mahin, Dean Solyntjes, Tom Radermacher and Craig Gustafson

After 25 years in healthcare administration, while in the U.S. Navy and civilian institutions, Pat Mahin retired—and then went to seminary. Near the end of his courses, in 2003, he took an independent study class, focusing on microfinance and traveling to Honduras to visit the work of Opportunity International. He remembers, “I just got very interested in the microenterprise model, how the money recirculates, how it creates support groups for entrepreneurs.” Continue Reading…

By Adrienne D’Orsie, Office Manager

Eight years ago, I was in my 20s and living as a missionary overseas. I served in many different ministries, from leading summer youth camps and encouraging churches (through tambourine dances, no less!) to building houses and discipling young women.

There was a purpose in each thing I did: to show the amazing love of God. But after a year or two in each new ministry, I’d begin to grow weary. I kept asking myself, “What lasting change is happening here?” Continue Reading…

Susan Jones was skilled, capable, and motivated—yet, month after month, she struggled to find a job following her college graduation.

“I was born blind,” she explains. “It’s not easy; … [when I graduated in the 70s,] not that many people [were] willing to give a blind person a job.” Continue Reading…