Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New partnership hopes to improve access to microcredit in South Africa

A great new partnership between a cosmetic business, an entrepreneurship organization and the website KIVA will work to improve access to microcredit loans for women in South Africa. The skincare product Dermalogica will begin donating a portion of each sale to Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship. FITE will then use the money raised to start a microcredit fund concentrating on women in South Africa. They will also operate a website powered by KIVA, where people can donate additional funds to the women.

From the Inter Press Service, we find out more about the great new service.

Powered by global non-profit micro-lending organisation KIVA, FITE aims to empower women in developed and developing countries worldwide through the provision of micro-loans. Since its official launch in South Africa in February, 30 South African women have been recipients of loans through FITE.

Skincare brand Dermalogica is the founding partner of FITE. "Through the FITE initiative, Dermalogica aims to empower over 25,000 women in business around the world in developing and developed countries in the next two years," said Lauren Michlo, general manager of Dermalogica South Africa.

Each time a consumer buys a specially marked Dermalogica product and enters the code supplied on the packaging into the FITE website, the company makes a one-dollar donation towards the global FITE fund.

The initiative also enables consumers to become direct lenders by making donations in increments of 25 dollars through the FITE website. And the lenders have the power to choose which projects they would like to support by selecting from a list of candidates.

Once the loan has been awarded, lenders are kept up to date on the recipient's progress via e-mails from KIVA. Once a loan has been paid back, that money is put towards a loan for a new recipient. Loan amounts and repayment schedules vary depending on the business plan of individual candidates.


foxy_roxtar said...

This is so encouraging and is exactly the sort of thing that is going to give people in SA a chance to get themselves out of hopeless situations. The empowerment of women is so strategic in eradicating extreme poverty.

Lithaca said...

I particularly like that it is a partnership. I think that 's what's going to make the program effective: cooperation between companies and sectors.