Through Friendship Bridge’s Microcredit Plus program in Guatemala, women like Maria (pictured above) are able to expand small businesses like weaving, embroidery, pastry making, farming livestock or produce, basket weaving and roadside vending. The program establishes Trust Banks, groups of seven to 25 women who co-guarantee each other’s loans as a form of social collateral. The average loan size to women in Friendship Bridge’s Trust Banks is $250, with a 98% repayment rate. Maria, the elected president of her Trust Bank, and the women of Mujeres Virgen de Guadalupe regularly gather for education sessions to learn important skills like money management, self-esteem, women’s rights, health and children’s education. Maria says, “With the training from Friendship Bridge and by the hand of God, we are able to save some from today to prepare ourselves for tomorrow.”
In addition to providing microcredit, Friendship Bridge provides education and preventive health services to increase opportunities and empower women in Guatemala. Click here to view a short video that highlights Friendship Bridge’s work to promote gender equality.
To learn more about the work of Friendship Bridge, visit its website
. Friendship Bridge is one of more than 60 mission-driven organizations in Mercy Partnership Fund’s global community investing portfolio.