“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime."
How can we empower the poor financially?
One way is through Micro-Business Development.
What is Micro-Business Development?
Micro-Business Development (MBD) focuses on job creation through small-scale businesses. It provides entrepreneurs with limited resources with training and loan capital to start and expand small businesses. It provides financial services to the poor who, with just a small amount of money, can begin to break out of poverty.
Many girls in rural and tribal areas opt for sewing courses over other types of vocational training. Most of them start earning as soon as they finish their course. They can become entrepreneurs from the comfort of their homes. A simple sewing machine can be the key to a woman's independence, empowering her to earn for herself and her family.
Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia
Beletu lives in Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia. She is single but was responsible for financially caring for her mom and siblings. After hearing of her situation from her pastor, Heart of Compassion Missionary Ministries provided a small business loan for her to purchase a taxi business. She now earns enough money to care for herself and her family.
Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia
Elemalish lives in the rural hills of Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia. Her husband is blind so she has had the responsibility of caring for her young children and her husband. To earn income for her family, she walks over 5 miles each way with a bag of cow dung on her back to take to the city to sell. The cow dung is used to fuel fire for cooking. The ministry purchased a donkey, which she named "Sitotha" which means gift. Now, Elemalish no longer has to carry the burden for her family. The "Gift" which comes from God now carries her burden. Amen.
Why Micro-Business Development?
Micro-Business Development is an efficient and effective method for fighting poverty and raising up entrepreneurs in developing countries. Where grants and giveaway programs have failed, Heart of Compassion Missionary Ministries is providing platforms for long-term growth and stability. By teaching basic financial principles and general business training before providing loan capital, Heart of Compassion Missionary Ministries ensures that the entrepreneurs and their communities benefit now and in the future. It is a very practical and sound approach to fighting poverty.
Micro-Business Development loans help because local banks cannot afford the costs associated with lending small amounts of money to many microenterprises, nor can they offer loans to clients who can provide little or no collateral. The aim of Micro-Business Development is to fill the void that separates millions of people from access to basic financial service.
What type of businesses are we talking about?
The businesses that we finance are simple in nature: shoemaking and repair, hair salons, sewing, knitting, small retail shops, soap making, taxi businesses, roadside food stands, poultry farms, farming and much more. These businesses will ultimately help families, churches, and communities increase to a higher economical and spiritual level.
How we work.
Heart of Compassion Missionary Ministries targets those at the bottom of the economic ladder through a network of local churches and ministries in a designated country. We identify projects and credible business people through various churches and ministries. We insist on strict reporting and make on-site visits to ensure good stewardship of our donors’ generosity.
Group accountability is one key to our success.
Individual and Group lending is a proven methodology with roots back into the early 1970s. For example, group lending provides small community loans with 3-5 people through a local church, ministry, or people within a community. Because each member of the group co-guarantees the loans of the others, peer pressure provides an added measure for loans to be paid back and the success of the business.
Through Heart of Compassion Missionary Ministries, the body of Christ is working together to fight poverty, create jobs and transform lives through the Word of God and Micro-Business Development. By feeding both the body and the spirit through Biblically-based business training and small business loans, we can demonstrate the love of Christ and win disciples for Him.
Dr. Tracy Sharpe, Director and President, Heart of Compassion Missionary Ministries