Higher Risk, Deeper Impact
In early 2009 we launched Mission Plus, a program that devotes a small portion of our portfolio to organizations whose qualifications fall outside of our regular loan criteria, but that we feel have the potential to go deeper and make the most impact.
In terms of percentage, Mission Plus is currently less than 1% of our portfolio, but this sector contains 20 incredibly high-impact deals that help new ventures meet gap financing issues. Examples include:
Calvert Foundation is proud to finance Fonkoze, Haiti's alternative bank for the organized poor. Fonkoze’s mission is to alleviate poverty, help the economy grow, and promote self-reliance in Haiti. It does so by providing the poor with micro-credit, small business financing, financial services and educational training. Just weeks after the January 2010 earthquake, Fonkoze had 34 of its 42 branches up and running. (Click here for more information on how to help victims of Haiti’s earthquake.)
Jouseline has been a member of Fonkoze for a couple of years. She sells small electronics – radios, tape players – and accessories out of a small stand near the cathedral in Gonaïves. Her business is growing, thanks to her hard work and to loans from Fonkoze.
When she heard that Fonkoze would be offering literacy classes in her credit center, she was excited. As a child, she had never had the chance to learn to read and write. “Other literacy programs drag you away from your work everyday. I’m a businesswomen. I don’t have all that time. When I learned that I could learn to read and write right in my credit center, and that I’d only have to go once or twice a week, I knew this was my chance.”
She is really pleased with the progress she has made. “First I learned what letter my name starts with. Then I learned to write my name. Then I started learning to read all the other letters, too.”
She likes doing homework in front of her children. “They’re still so small. They can’t really help. I have other friends that give me a hand. But my children like the fact that they have homework and I do too…I want to thank Fonkoze for teaching me to read and write. Fonkoze’s literacy program is opening my eyes.”
© Photo courtesy of Fonkoze