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Virltual MicroFinance Office in Honduras24 days ago
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New CEO at Opportuinity International Canada35 days ago
HECD Santa Barbara Update35 days ago
Coffee Co-Op in Honduras 201 days ago
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Virltual MicroFinance Office in Honduras
Category: Microcredit | By Steve, 23-Nov-2018 | Viewed 48  Comments 0 | Source Alison Chapman & Ed Temple
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Puerto Cortes

PUERTO CORTES BRANCH EXPANSION


Puerto Cortes is the largest seaport in Central America. A large, industrial port city on the North-west coast of Honduras, it was also an early centre for banana production in Honduras. Although it is just 52 km north of San Pedro Sula, it has a growing population of over 200,000. IDH is preparing to open a branch office in Puerto Cortes as part of its strategic plan. Puerto Cortes is located at the end of the commercial highway and will expand IDH's service coverage from Tegucigalpa to the North Coast of Honduras.

Industries that dominate Puerto Cortes such as port activities and construction tend to be male dominated and commonly bar entry for women. Women are marginalized from formal employment in this area and are limited to running small businesses from home or informal businesses on the street such as food stalls and retail kiosks. Rather than try to equalize the labor landscape, IDH aims to recruit these female microentrepreneurs as clients and empower them to grow their businesses and expand their own possibilities. IDH's vision is to provide access to financial services to over 500 entrepreneurs to start or expand a business.

The Puerto Cortes branch will start as a virtual office

with Loan Officers from San Pedro Sula initially recruiting and serving clients, followed by an actual physical office. The San Pedro Sula regional office will oversee the operations of the Puerto Cortes branch.

FUNDING


> IDH will be investing $70,000 to build a new office space.
>Opportunity International Canada will invest just over $263,000 towards the operational costs.
> The Rotary Club Foundation hopes to contribute $290,000 for loan funds and $26,000 for training.

ENTRANCE STRATEGY


The virtual Puerto Cortes branch is already servicing 17 clients on the outskirts of Puerto Cortes. Some of the businesses being funded include cell phone sales, vegetable vendors, milk production, and a vehicle mechanic, among others.

IDH hopes to serve the surrounding areas of Puerto Cortes where there are street vendors as well as small businesses run from homes and the public market. As is the case all over Honduras, IDH will also aim to serve transportation services in Puerto Cortes such as motorcycle taxis. Research is currently also being undertaken to assess the need for small loans among surrounding cattle and palm oil farmers.

OFFICE PLAN


IDH staff have located an office space right in the centre of town (see photos in full article noted below) that is available and easily accessible to clients within a shopping mall. Agreements to rent this space are in process.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
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Xiomara - IDH Client Story

CLIENT STORY


Cortes market stall, you would never guess the struggle it has taken to get here. After completing grade 8, Xiomara had to leave school and get a job to help her family. Working as a maid, she tried to keep up her studies on the weekend. Her mother used to run a small business selling grains, but when Xiomara was in her late teens, her mother was diagnosed with cancer and died. Xiomara had to take over her business, as well as care for her two younger siblings and sick father. When her siblings were older, Xiomara moved to Choloma looking for a new start. It didn't go as she hoped. Left pregnant and alone, she did the only thing she knew: she bought some grain, and all day, for the next four years, stood in the marketplace selling.

Inch by inch her profits increased. She rented a stall. She added products. She brought her father and siblings to live with her. Now her stall is a bustling hub of activity. She has had two loans with other organizations, but when she met IDH Loan Officer Fanny Corral four months ago, she applied for a $5,447 Individual Loan. "I would like to buy a pickup truck so I can bring produce from the market to my store which would decrease my transportation expenses," she says. She also dreams of one day buying her own house. "I want my son to inherit something," she says. Xiomara is the perfect kind of client to kick-start the Puerto Cortes loan portfolio.


Extract from the San Pedro Sula Update - October 2018.


Read entire report:
http://mtf5360.rotaryglobal.net/docs/San%20Pedro%20Sula%201118%20FINAL_351.pdf

Ed Temple - etemple@opportunityinternational.ca
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