Lemonade International Blog

Microfinance Pilot Program – In Partnership With UNC-CMI

Over the past several months we have been working with students from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a microfinance pilot program in La Limonada. As a result of these plans, four students who are part of the Carolina Microfinance Initative (CMI) campus group will travel to Guatemala this summer and will invest six weeks this summer working with a small group of initial borrowers.

The students will conduct workshops which will provide training for two target groups of five borrowers each. The training workshops will focus on marketing, budgeting, the importance of savings and more. They will also conduct open workshops for people from the La Limonada community to help generate ideas for businesses and to help move existing businesses forward. They have spent countless hours this year researching, pursuing grants and developing training materials for this program.

The following is from the students of CMI:

“In collaboration with Lemonade International, the Community Empowerment Fund, and Fundacion Micros, The Carolina Microfinance Initiative (CMI) will pilot a transitional microfinance initiative, El Fondo de Apoyo Comunitario (FAC: the Community Empowerment Fund) in La Limonada, one of Central America’s largest urban slums located in Guatemala City. FAC will seek to alleviate the poverty experienced by the people of La Limonada by empowering them through income-generating microloans and entrepreneurship workshops. FAC loans will be the base of a program that motivates borrowers to gain higher incomes and build assets to eventually integrate them into independent banking and the formal economy.”

To learn more about this project, please contact Santiago Beltran – sbeltran@email.unc.edu

We are looking forward to implementing this pilot program, to an ongoing partnership with CMI to ensure its sustainability and to the long term impact this will have on the people of La Limonada.

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