The NGO « Alternativa, Centro de Investigación Social y Educación Popular » (Alternativa) was founded in 1982 with the purpose to promote the local development by improving the poor’s living conditions. The NGO serving around 3,000 clients implemented a very wide range of projects in the areas where it operates, like emotional intelligence, sexual education, training for parents, entrepreneurial skills, capacity building, health workshops/campaigns, women’s rights, microfinance. Their target population are mainly women which represent 90% of their clients, youth and children.
The microfinance program known as “La Chanchita” was created in 2001 as a complement to the entrepreneurship program. The institution has a team exclusively dedicated to the microfinance service who uses the village banking methodology. This approach allows the clients to integrate (or separate) members with similar credit profile to their group. The credit approval is flexible and democratic within the group. The groups have an average of 20 members and decide jointly whether a member can apply for an increase or a decrease, of the loan facility. The methodology has a low credit risk given that it promotes the loan graduation, and it also includes a solidarity guarantee from all the group members.
Due to its strong social mission, Alternative targets the integral development of low-income populations by providing loans to very small entrepreneurs, with an average disbursed loand of EUR 320.