We are excited to announce that Berendina with whom we have been working over the past few months has got a significantly larger loan approved from their lending bank. This would mean that we will have many more loans from Sri Lanka on our website.
On top of that we are excited to announce that we will be launching in India with an online lending model. Many of you may wonder why we are launching a lending model when we have pioneered the guarantee model and when there are other organizations that have already proven the lending model. The reasons are simple:
- We have learned that the guarantee model shows dramatic results when there is a certain degree of stability in the local microfinance market. If the stability is not there, banks are unwilling to lend to local microfinance institutions even with a guarantee.
- Thus in several countries international lending may be the only viable model before banks are willing to step in and lend to local microfinance institutions with or without a guarantee.
- There is a lot of work to be done to ending poverty. There is an urgent need for several organizations to be involved in fighting poverty at local and international levels. No one can do it alone.
The lending model is a means for our generous lenders to support communities where we are unable to make the guarantee model operational.
Over the last few months, we have been working with two microfinance institutions, Prayas and Mahashakti foundation, who will be our first set of partners in India. We are at the final stages of the paperwork and once we get a loan registration number through the Reserve Bank of India, we hope to have loans online in the next few weeks.
Prayas works in Kutch, Gujarat and Mahashakti foundation works in Orissa. Mahashakti foundation is also a Kiva partner.
While all this has been going on, Richaa Pokhriyal who has joined us as Project Manager out of New Delhi, India has been working with the team at Josh software to make changes to our website to support both the lending and guarantee models. Richaa is the first salaried team member for UnitedProsperity.
We would like to thank our supporters who have stood by us through our long and at times tortuous journey. We are here because of your generosity, patience and resilience. Thanks once again.