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For the fourth year in a row, Namaste hosted an event unlike any other in Guatemala. Through the generous support of the Huge Difference Fund, this conference enables nearly 100 Namaste Business Development clients to exchange ideas, participate in various workshops and build networks. The conference featured workshops on technology, customer service, legal rights, and financial literacy trainings. Clients were selected by Namaste business advisors and all costs (including travel) were covered by the Huge Difference Fund grant. For many women, this conference was three days of firsts: their first time away from home, first time to collaborate with other microcredit borrowers from other regions of Guatemala, and the first time to experience an event exclusively for women invested in developing their businesses.
These photos are of bank members of the Nebaj and Chimaltenango regions of Guatemala. They include weavers, shopkeepers, food stand owners and farmers. Children often sit with their mothers during the meetings and learn first-hand about entrepreneurship, banking, and financial accountability. Bank members typically repay their loans over 6 months. Each biweekly payment of about $20 includes principle, interest and a few dollars toward community bank savings. Photos are courtesy of Jessica Welborn, 2005