I am pleased to provide you with this status report on the Ecuador microcredit project that your Rotary club helped sponsor in 2015. This is the pilot program in Guayaquil, Ecuador to help create new manufacturing and craft businesses and provide financing when needed through a Rotary microcredit loan program. Our Global Grant project provided $60,000 in loan capital plus funding for business coaching and training materials. The total Rotary grant was for $82,500.
Participants have attended a seven month business development program which included three phases. The first was training in business plans and the requirements for owning and managing a business. The second was training in making the specific products that would be produced by the businesses. The third phase was actually establishing the businesses including meeting the government requirements. Then the business is qualified to receive loans through our program. This program is being administered by the Hogar de Cristo, a not for profit organization in Guayaquil.
The program has now been in operation for two years, and 82 new small business enterprises have been established through these efforts. All of these new enterprises received business coaching through our grant after the business was established. The seven month training program was provided to 383 participants. In total 276 loans have been provided, with a number of them repeat loans to the same business as it developed. Loans to borrowers have totaled $159,775. You can see the value of our grant funds being placed in a Revolving Loan Fund.
Our pilot project has attracted the attention of a university in Rome, Italy. They have sent Elena Vitelaru, a graduate student, to Guayaquil for a month to study the project. She will be conducting an analysis of the project for her Master’s Thesis. Thank you again to your Rotary Club for helping support this meaningful and productive Global Grant project. I would appreciate your sharing this information with members of your Rotary Club.
Keith Axtell, Chair
District 5150 Microcredit Committee