Our Mission is to directly contribute to Women´s Economic Empowerment by providing business development programs that increase the business cash flow of low income women.
Approximately 700 women annually are offered education services with Q2,000 – Q5,000 loan ($260-$660) and if successful, a second loan of Q3,000-Q7,000 ($400-900). Third loans are also an option. Inspired by successful program graduates, we developed a separate “Starz” program to loan up to $4,000 for women who can grow their businesses large enough to employ additional workers.
Focus on Financial Literacy
We have seen that without basic financial training, many microcredit borrowers can end up worse off than before they took a loan. In our program, each Namaste Entrepreneur learns important cash management techniques, such as separating business money from personal money. Through culturally-sensitive education materials developed by the Freedom from Hunger foundation and participatory techniques, our clients learn by doing, along with a supportive group of cohorts. The education sessions are front loaded, offering Namaste entrepreneurs the ability to utilize the valuable lessons throughout the loan cycle. As a result, they gain control over their businesses, and their lives.
The monitoring and evaluation system used by Namaste is based on a tailor made online database called PROSPER (Poverty Reduction Operating Software that Plans, Evaluates and Reports). This online database system houses more than 500 data points of information per client which is available to the Namaste staff and was developed specifically for us by Tenmast, a Kentucky based software company. On top of prosper sits QlikView, the leading business intelligence software system worldwide. Namaste uses this combined system to analyze not only our clients’ performance, but our team performance as well. The graphics below illustrates an example of one of dozens of reports our staff members utilize in their work.