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December 2010 update.
This year we have combined our successful 2009 adaptation (preparing women and taking them to cooperating local banks who fund their start-up business with formal economy entry).
In 2010 we additionally steered women into more lucrative less saturated businesses: and trained them to excell at these.
Trujillo's best confectioner of Peanut-Brittle came to shared all his secrets and showed how to succeed - now they are able to make these popular street snacks with high profit margins.
20 introductions 2 the bank (01.11.2009)
ArribaYa team summer 209
New additions, Autumn 2009


  • Background [2007 - 2009]
    Having begun Arriba Ya based on a successful Grameen style community economic development model, in 2008 we were strongly encouraged [partly due to our initial success and it having been reported in flattering terms in the national - and the near histerrical grab for our clients by one or two perhaps over-funded-under-performing microfinance NGOs] encouraged to evolve away from organising small communities of poor women in Trujillo's most desolate barrios; away from preparing and funding the members of each community in the hope that the project would become peopled by an ever growing, succeeding body of productive women: each earning her own living and repaying her loan to ArribaYa - with interest rates adequate to sustain the project: so we could continue funding more and more impoverished women. All of these women we would eventually lead out of the informal sector of Peru's economy and into the formal sector.
    Our Results
    We have continued to succeeded in getting most of the women we accepted into ArribaYa productive enough to sustain themselves and their children economically. It also contimnues to be evident that we, in the early years of ArribaYa, failed to build communities that were strong enough to withstand the temptations and challenges which would be visited upon the ArribaYa women as soon as the project became known outside of Trujillo. Temptations such as being offered additional funding in excess of their needs by Lima based NGOs. The challenge of having to repay two or three sets of loans when only the ArribaYa funds had been invested in their business, the rest usually went into their homes and other non productive necessities. Paying off all of their loans on the earnings from their micro continued to porve impossible, so they paid none - or at least did not repay our project.
    We were glad for the success we brought to the women in the programme, but could not justify continuing putting women into business with our funding, and not have the women repay the funding. [Note: During ArribaYa's first year we donated the capital to pay the staff and loan to the women. During the second year friends in the Netherlands contributed the funds - led by Bart, with Ina being the largest contributor.] What to do?
    "Necessity - mother of invention".
    It seemed we needed to 'think outside the box'.
    After experimenting with a couple variations on the Grameen model - such as trying to work only with existing communities - we hit on a plan which, if it worked, could relieve ArribaYa from having to fund the micro startups: do all the preparation work then get someone else to put up the micro-financing If it succeeded we would also be relieved of having to act as debt collectors
    . Our own funds (and those contributed by our associated friends) would be used to pay for recruiting, preparing and training ArribaYa women, lead them through the steps which culminate in making their business plan. We would then present our well prepared women to a bank, help them open an account, apply for credit and like waving a wand we would have transporting our impoverished women from unproductive members of the informal economy to self employed productive members of the formal economy.
    In spite of our best efforts no bank would give our enthusiastic women a line of credit - unless we guaranteed it.
    Even though we did not set out to operate the ArribaYa project as it is now functioning, and we do not claim any genius insight for ourselves by which we streamline our original approach - the truth is we were forced to do it: it was either try something radically different or else fail. We tried something new and now we are very happy with the results we are now getting. Our new method is this.
    Over the past year, counting on the fact that we have becoming somewhat known and having a not bad reputation, we managed to persuade a savings bank to work with us. We now prepare the women just as before. We then, instead of funding them ourselves, present each , along with our recommendation to the bank. And the bank accepts most of them as their clients. This means the women in our programme now go straight into the formal economy of their country: with their own bank account and line of credit. We still put the women through the preparation steps, and it takes just as long as before to prepare them, get them used the discipline required, you know what the steps are - and prepare their business plan. The banks and the women are very content so far. And it gets around the great hurdle of having to form communities among women who were not inclined to abide by the requirements of being in a little community. Our investment is the salaries of the three people who work in the project and their daily transport.(And we still have a collector going after the women from the past - but we only do that so as not to accept that we will let the women fail to repay their debt - for their sakes not ours, for us it is almost all a write off, as the cost of the collector and transport are usually more than we collect).- We have taken Charo and Pedro off collecting because we want them to only be known in the community for the positive activities of preparing our women to be accepted by the little banks. Our monthly expenses are slightly higher than before, but we do not have any risk, not have to give out any money. We achieve better results for the women. As a result we now intend to remain a social project (hopefully continuing to grow). We are therefore not likely to become a large Micro Credit NGO and certainly not a bank. We do not mind this at all because our aim was always to find the best result for the women we were helping - all within the means at our disposal. It seems we are achieving this. Now to grow the model.