Namaste's Customized Business Loan Program
As a part of our business development program, we ensure that our client obtains a small business loan to finance her business and leverage what she learns from us about business. A Canadian NGO, Open to Grow, provides a substantial portion of the capital needed to fund small business loans to our entry level clients and to program graduates at interest rates 25% – 50% below other microfinance organizations in Guatemala. We work with local banks to finance the businesses of larger and high growth clients, as our goal is to help clients enter the mainstream economy.
Each woman’s business is unique, which is why the loans are tailored to the specific needs of each client. Before even obtaining a loan, however, we perform metrics to qualify clients and to help us determine our impact. At the outset we measure the daily income of each Namaste Entrepreneur. Within 30 days of receiving the loan, our clients must satisfy their personal business adviser that they have invested at least 80% of the loan proceeds into their businesses. Throughout the loan cycle, clients must demonstrate that their business profits are sufficient to be the source of loan repayments. These steps help us guard against ‘loan stacking’ and the inappropriate use of funds. After we are satisfied that each new Namaste Entrepreneur is on a solid footing for success, Namaste Business Advisors work with their clients to define specific business objectives, outlining important steps to take to achieve their dreams.