Thursday, June 23, 2011

Seed of the Lord Microloans

I think the new Jacaranda office is on one of the roads near the school, although I wouldn’t bet my life on it. I met with Brenda today, the servant-leader behind the ministry. She and some other ministry-minded folks have been hoping to start a microloan service to meet the immediate and urgent needs of a few of the many people in Nairobi. Although we realize that most microloans are offered only to businesses that have already proven to be viable, they’re willing to take a few risks with start up businesses as well.

After establishing the goal as being that of teaching loan recipients some financial planning skills, we talked about our need for learning about the successes and failures of other microloan organizations. We hope to connect with experienced lenders to learn what to do and what not to do pertaining to these loans.

Several assignments were made, including assignments for me. I’m charged with reviewing an existing curriculum and concentrating that teaching into a 2 hour workshop. We’ll spend an hour reviewing the principles of business to help equip applicants to develop viable financial plans. We’ll spend the second hour reviewing the plan they develop, refining it, and talking about loan alternatives for those whose plan isn’t viable. I’ll deliver the workshop this week primarily to the initial loan applicants, but the workshop will be open to anyone wishing to apply. Finally, the applications will go to a committee who will decide whether or not to approve the loan based on the feasibility of the plan.

A few of us, including me, will provide ongoing business training to continue to equip loan recipients and applicants to understand principles of financial and business planning. I’m so excited to become part of what God is doing through Jacaranda Creations!