Join us for a fundraiser for Wisconsin Microfinance, a small, Madison-based organization committed to bringing big changes in parts of the developing world hard hit by natural disasters. |
Wisconsin Microfinance's mission is to use microfinance principles to help people in the developing world rise out of poverty. The non-profit functions as a bridge to channel tax-deductible donations to approved country-specific microfinance lenders which administer the loans "on the ground." WI Microfinance is not a typical peer-to-peer lending organization, where repaid loans are returned to the lender. Rather, repaid loans are returned to a revolving fund administered by the local microfinance lenders and used to fund additional loans and community projects.
Wisconsin Microfinance embodies the best practices of microfinance organizations around the world. Access to credit is extremely limited in both the Philippines and Haiti. The program provides very small loans (ranging from $50 to $250) to individuals in need. The loans have allowed recipients to buy; vegetables for market sale, a young cow for milk, a simple sewing machine, and a cart, to name a few. Every loan has supported a business which has generated a steady, sustainable income for the recipients and their families.
Loan recipients are screened to increase the likelihood of repayment. Women are the primary target of the program, in keeping with the documented success of lending to women by the Grameen Bank, an early pioneer of microfinance. In addition, support groups for loan recipients are part of the loan agreement, so that responsibility for repaying a loan falls on a group rather than a single individual. Larger loans are subsequently available for individuals in groups that successfully paid back smaller loans. When a microfinance program is developed according to these principals, microfinance generally has a repayment rate of over 98% in developing countries.
Wisconsin Microfinance will celebrate its nine year anniversary this year. During the life of the program, over 1300 people have received life-changing assistance. Each of these people has started or expanded a business, helped to rebuild their communities, and regained the ability to support their families. However, poverty continues to be endemic in the developing world. Wisconsin Microfinance can continue to play a crucial role in bringing hope and financial stability to the developing world.
Harvest Restaurant (View)
21 N Pinckney St
Madison, WI 53703
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|