Our microfinancing partners work tirelessly to provide small loans, financial education, and other critical resources to entrepreneurs and small business owners in need. We understand that you may have questions about how microfinancing works, who we partner with, and how you can get involved, which is why we’ve put together this comprehensive FAQ to answer all your inquiries.
What is microfinancing?
Microfinance is a financial service that provides small loans and other banking services to people with limited access to traditional banking systems, particularly those in low-income communities. The goal of microfinance is to empower individuals to lift themselves out of poverty by providing access to financial resources.
Who are MPA’s partner organizations?
MPA partners with grassroots organizations which are involved in implementing microfinance services and education, reaching those around them who are struggling to rise out of extreme poverty. Jamii Bora Trust/Yawezekana SACCO, Caritas MADDO Diocese of Masaka, Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood, Sacred Heart Sisters, Marian Brothers, Under the Same Tree are current active partner organizations of MPA.
Where does MPA do microfinancing?
We have partners in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania (and Zanzibar), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Who is eligible to join MPA’s partner organizations and get a loan?
Community members in the area of the grassroots organization are welcome to join, regardless of race, tribe, religion. All who wish to join the program are welcome.
How are your different types of programs all tied together by microfinance?
Microfinance programs comes in all forms. Whether a “dollars-and-cents” financial loan structure; others do this by applying the principles of microfinancing to a pay-it-forward economic empowerment program. Each of our programs requires that members save or invest in some way; clearly communicate the terms by which the loan will be repaid or paid forward; train and support members to navigate the inevitable obstacles; and ultimately empower communities to implement economic solutions at the grassroots level.
How do our programs make an impact?
Each program offers individuals access to different microfinance opportunities to lift themselves out of poverty by providing access to financial resources. As people are able to build their business, see additional profits each day, improve their families’ nutrition and basic needs, and grow their savings, they can build resilience to the hardships surrounding life in poverty. We are seeing this impact in reported improvements to savings, nutrition, housing, health, and education.
Can you share more about the financial transparency of the organization?
Sure, our 990 is located on our website. We maintain a platinum rating through GuideStar.
How do you select programs to support?
Each of our five core programs were approved as strategic areas that support MPA’s mission by our Board of Directors.
How do you select partners to partner with?
Our staff, current partners, board, and volunteers forward candidate partner organizations to our Program Director, who evaluates their fit with MPA’s mission. Have they started microfinancing on their own? Do they offer fair and fixed interest rates and loan repayment terms? Do they support their members with training and mentoring? Do they expect members to repay loans or retire the obligation in some way? Do they focus on providing microfinancing for people in extreme poverty? Do they operate in a non-profit way? Do they welcome all regardless of race, tribe, or religion? Are they willing and able to collect and share impact data, photos and stories, and other reports as needed by MPA to assess impact? As a part of our assessment, we personally visit the prospective partner organization prior to agreeing to partnership, and we strive to visit at least once per year. (During COVID, we utilized video conferencing.)
Is giving monetarily the only way to support your programs?
No! We have many ways you can help whether it’s attending an event, volunteering in our office located in St. Louis or lending your voice on social media.
How frequently are you in contact with each partner program in Africa?
For each of our partners we require scheduled reporting of the funding and how each dollar was used for their programming, so we are continually receiving and reviewing updates for how the programs are growing. As well, our Founder and Program Director speak to individuals within our partner organizations multiple times each week, sometimes each day.
Can I travel to Africa?
Of course! We typically take trips 2-3 times annually and welcome those who want to come and experience the impact of microfinance first hand to consider joining. To learn more about an upcoming trip, email firstname.lastname@example.org