Community Engagement

Micro-Enterprise and Micro-Credit
“Microcredit lending has become a major innovation in anti-poverty and economic development programs around the world. The core philosophy of microcredit lending programs is that poor people are best able to help themselves when they are granted access to the same kinds of market mechanisms that sustain much of the “real” economy, particularly access to credit. Small loans, sometimes as little as a few dollars, are given to individuals that may lack access to traditional banking institutions. These funds become the foundation for modest investments and improvements in quality of life that many economists believe may help to reduce poverty and foster long term economic development.” ~ Via International partner TransBorder Institute

Creative Small Ventures
 
Never underestimate the capacity of a low-income person to conceive of an innovative response to feed her/his family!


The simple gesture of identifying needed products and services or discovering a niche where there is unfulfilled demand is a universal human phenomena. In a more agrarian world, people used their efforts to grow food for consumption and developed markets for barter and exchange. When money entered the picture and provided a currency to facilitate those exchanges, larger transactions became possible. For people without access to capital, their livelihood is usually from harvest to harvest or from paycheck to paycheck. With resources (access to loans as one example) they can secure raw materials or buy inventory for resale, and thereby have the opportunity for greater self-reliance within today's economic system.
 
ESTIMA
 
Via International is partnering with Women’s Empowerment International to provide micro-loans to Tijuana female sex workers so they can start small businesses and lessen or eliminate their financial reliance on sex trade. Learn more about ESTIMA.