At Namaste Direct, we work closely with our clients because we believe in their potential. Namaste Business Advisors meet with clients individually each month to support them in setting and achieving business goals. Our program also provides financial literacy training as well as a customized business loans to ensure success of all our clients. Together, we invest in greater livelihoods for the communities in which we work. In the past five years, Namaste has achieved the following impact:
50% increase in micro-entrepreneurs´ monthly income for each nine-month loan and education cycle completed.
Micro-entrepreneurs act on 84% of advice given in their monthly mentor meetings (reported by their Business Advisors)
Currently 71% of clients are keeping records despite the fact that 26% of them are illiterate. Keeping financial records is new to nearly all of our beginning micro-entrepreneurs.
87% of clients have joined the Namaste Savings Club. To incentivize clients to save, Namaste matches $1 for every $2 clients save in a bank.
Annual Business Women’s Conference: Each year 100 low-income women (many of whom have never spent a night away from home) attend three days of learning and networking.
Each Namaste Entrepreneur is assigned a professional business advisor for the duration of their loan cycle.
Business advisors are local community leaders, well versed in the local economy and also the indigenous languages of the region.
Together, client and advisor go through the details of the business, focusing on cash-flow analysis, detailed record keeping, and strategic planning. Throughout the cycle, Namaste Business Advisors work with their clients to define specific business objectives, outlining important steps to take to achieve their dreams.
The Namaste training methodology – highly sensitive to literacy rates and cultural needs – is crafted to keep each client on track.
Focus on Financial Literacy
Financial literacy training is an extremely important aspect of teaching our clients how to run successful businesses. Through our programs, each Namaste Entrepreneur learns important cash management techniques, such as separating business money from personal money.
Implemented by our Business Advisors, the Financial Literacy programs are culturally sensitive, and designed through a participatory approach. This allows the women with whom we work to get the most out of the sessions and learn valuable and applicable skills for their future and current businesses.
Namaste’s Customized Business Loan Program
Through our Business Development Program, we ensure that our client is supported not only through necessary educational training but also through much needed microloans to kick-start or improve upon her microbusiness.
Since each woman’s business is unique, loans are tailored to the specific needs of each client. Our Business Advisors work closely with each recipient to ensure they are up to date with loan payments and succeeding in their respective businesses.
The Huge Difference Fund Annual Business Women’s Conference is an opportunity for 100 of Namaste’s clients to learn more about business from outstanding speakers, workshop leaders and each other.
It was initiated in 2007, to create a unique experience for its clients. To date, 700 business women have met along the shores of Lake Atitlan for a 3-day conference featuring learning, cultural exchanges and peer-based entrepreneurial support. For many of the women, the conference is a seminal event in their lives as it is the first time they have been without their children, stayed in a hotel and been recognized as leaders in their society.
Want to participate in the 2022 Conference? Click here.
The monitoring and evaluation system used by Namaste is tailor made and allows for precise monitoring and evaluation of all Namaste clients. It allows us to appropriately measure the successes of our organization.
This system is an 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.
Want to learn more about some of Namaste Direct’s Impact?