MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Global Partnerships Agrees to Loan Up to $500k to Friendship Bridge for Microcredit for Rural Guatemalan Women
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Sunday, January 13, 2013

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Global Partnerships Agrees to Loan Up to $500k to Friendship Bridge for Microcredit for Rural Guatemalan Women

» Posted by in Category: Deals,Latin America at 3:41 pm

Global Partnerships (GP), a nonprofit investor based in the US city of Seattle, Washington, has launched a partnership with Friendship Bridge, a US-based nonprofit microfinance institution that provides rural Guatemalan women with microcredit loans as well as business and preventive health education. GP will loan up to USD 500,000 to Friendship Bridge, which has a loan portfolio of USD 3.6 million and serves 14,000 borrowers through “trust banks.” This model includes the disbursal of loans averaging USD 250 per borrower to groups of 7 to 25 women that act as co-guarantors of the loans of their fellow group members. The loan terms vary in length from 4 to 12 months. As of 2011, Friendship Bridge had arranged 1,411 trust banks across Guatemala. GP will also support Friendship Bridge in scaling up its operations in an effort to reach more people and make its microcredit program self-sufficient.

With a mission of expanding opportunity for people living in poverty, GP has USD 42.2 million of fund capital invested in 33 microfinance institutions and cooperative partners across 11 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean as of 2013. According to 2011 data reported to the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange, Friendship Bridge has total assets of USD 5.5 million. According to GP, Friendship Bridge has a 0.05-percent rate of portfolio at risk for over 30 days and a write-off ratio of 0.79 percent. Friendship Bridge does not accept deposits.

By Lena Phillips, Research Associate

About Friendship Bridge

Established in 1990, Friendship Bridge is a US-based nonprofit that provides microcredit services and education to Guatemalan women in rural areas. Friendship Bridge disburses loans averaging USD 250 per borrower to groups of 7 to 25 women that act as co-guarantors of the loans of their fellow group members in what are called “trust banks.” The loan terms vary in length from 4 to 12 months. As of 2011, Friendship Bridge had arranged 1,411 trust banks across Guatemala serving 14,356 clients. Originally, the organization provided medical supplies in areas of Vietnam that were recovering from conflict. In 1994, it shifted its focus to microcredit, and it began its work in Guatemala in 1998. Friendship Bridge reported a loan portfolio of USD 3.6 million as of 2013. According to 2011 data reported to the US-based nonprofit Microfinance Information Exchange, Friendship Bridge has total assets of USD 5.5 million. According to GP, Friendship Bridge has a 0.05-percent rate of portfolio at risk for over 30 days and a write-off ratio of 0.79 percent. Friendship Bridge does not accept deposits. The US office of Friendship Bridge is in Lakewood, Colorado, and its Guatemalan office is in Panajachel, Solola.

About Global Partnerships (GP)

Established in 1994, Global Partnerships (GP) is a US-based nonprofit investor that aims to expand opportunity for people living in poverty. Since 2005, GP has created four microfinance investment vehicles (MIVs): Global Partnerships Microfinance Fund 2005 (MFF 2005), Global Partnerships Microfinance Fund 2006 (MFF 2006), Global Partnerships Microfinance Fund 2008 (MFF 2008) and Global Partnerships Social Investment Fund 2010 (SIF 2010). As of January 2013, GP reported USD 42.2 million of capital invested in 33 microfinance and cooperative partners across 11 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The company has staff based in the US city of Seattle, Washington and in Managua, Nicaragua.

Sources and Additional Resources:

Data provided to MicroCapital by Global Partnerships (GP).

MicroCapital.org Article, 30 November 2011: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Global Partnerships, Linked Foundation, Fonkoze Support Women’s Health in Haiti”, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-global-partnerships-linked-foundation-fonkoze-support-women%E2%80%99s-health-in-haiti/#more-15777

MicroCapital.org Article, 23 October 2011: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Global Partnerships Lends $1.2m to Microfinance Institutions Pro Mujer, Café y Desarollo of Mexico, Fundaci?n Campo of El Salvador”, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-global-partnerships-lends-1-2m-to-microfinance-institutions-pro-mujer-cafe-y-desarrollo-of-mexico-fundacion-campo-of-el-salvador/#more-15308

MicroCapital.org Article, 15 June 2011: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MicroPlanet Technologies Announces Guatemalan Microfinance Institution (MFI) is First Customer for Hybrid Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Platform”, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-microplanet-technologies-announces-guatemalan-microfinance-institution-mfi-is-first-customer-for-hybrid-software-as-a-service-saas-platform/#more-13094

MicroCapital Universe Profile: Global Partnerships (GP), http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Global+Partnerships

MicroCapital Universe Profile: Friendship Bridge, http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Friendship+Bridge

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