What is Microfinance?
Microfinance is the general term describing financial services offered to those living below the poverty line who would otherwise not have access to such resources. It includes microsavings accounts, microinsurance, and microloans – our predominant tool – which are small loans ranging from $100 to $3,000. Our interest-free microloans empower the poor, and give them the ability to invest in their businesses and improve the quality of their lives and the lives of their families and communities.
Microfinance goes beyond philanthropy—it is a powerful, sustainable tool for social and economic transformation. In the developing world, where banks are unwilling or unable to extend credit, Spartan Global offers opportunity to those who have been traditionally excluded from financial resources. Without access to loans, savings, or other basic services that are often taken for granted in the United States, it is nearly impossible for people to break free from the cycle of poverty. While philanthropy is able to offer temporary solutions, microfinance provides a foundation for systemic change because once the funds are repaid – as more than 99% are – they are lent back out and the cycle continues.
How Spartan Global does it...
1) direct loans with field partners
Spartan Global also seeks partnerships with other organizations. Through our field partners, we undertake new investment projects that directly reach those in need of microcredit. Past partnerships have included Esperanza en Acción and As Green As It Gets.
2) loans through kiva
Spartan Global maintains a loan portfolio on Kiva to connect with hundreds of funding agencies. Through Kiva, we have distributed microloans to more than 2,000 individuals and cooperatives in 72 countries. Our team profile can be viewed here.