Microfinance & Microenterprise with FSD
The most common issue affecting many communities throughout the world is a lack of economic opportunity. Foundation for Sustainable Development works to support these communities with the tools they need to acquire employment and build successful businesses. We partner with over 50 microfinance and microenterprise organizations around the world, working to strengthen programs that build economic wellbeing in their communities.
Microfinance is a major aspect of microenterprise development made famous by the pioneering work of Muhammad Yunus. Since traditional lending does not reach underserved communities, microfinance offers a collective solution that lends small increments of capital to local businesses. Along with credit lending, FSD trains entrepreneurs to effectively integrate credit management and savings principles into their business growth.
The opportunities for economic development and financial inclusion differ between regions and organization, but common training topics include locally applicable vocational skills, business plan development, integrating technology, bookkeeping and business management, and marketing/outreach. Training is offered through various methods such as workshops, individual counseling, peer networking, and mentoring programs.
FSD Microfinance Partners
Each of our community partners takes a unique approach to financial inclusion. One of our partners in Nicaragua, Alternativa, focuses on expanding financial resources with an emphasis on financial education and economic opportunity. The majority of Alternativa's clients are women who lack access to traditional education and employment opportunities. In Uganda, our partner Baitambgowe Saaco reaches out to meet the needs of communities where traditional banking is unavailable. Oftentimes, Baitambgowe Saaco will work with groups of people who come together to start a small business or cooperative.
To help micro-entrepreneurs increase sales and profitability, FSD works to expand access to local and international markets through relationship building, research, and strategic development. Local organizations focus on removing barriers to economic resources typically experienced by marginalized populations such as women, elderly, disabled, and at-risk youth. By addressing these prominent needs—training, microfinance and access to markets—FSD and its partner organizations provide economic opportunities at the community level.