Pro Mujer in Bolivia is Pro Mujer's flagship microfinance institution and the foundational model on which all of its other microfinance institutions have been built. Its success in the region has been integral in replicating Pro Mujer's achievements. Established in 1990, Pro Mujer in Bolivia works with impoverished women in eight of Boliviaís nine regions.
Pro Mujer organizes women into communal banks of 20 to 30 women each who apply for loans as a group, disburse the money to members, and collect loan payments and savings deposits. Pro Mujer provides these groups with the following products:
- Working Capital Loans: ranging from US$50 to $1,500 with a term of four to six months. Loans start small, US$50 to $100, and those women who repay on time qualify for larger loans.
- Opportunity Loans:short-term capital that enables entrepreneurs to take advantage of busy seasons such as Christmas.
- Insurance: Pro Mujer Bolivia became the first member of the network to provide life and credit insurance, and plans are underway to offer this and other types of insurance in other countries.
- Savings: Savings, a buffer against emergencies such as an illness or natural disaster, are deposited in group savings accounts managed by a regulated bank. Clients can access their savings on the days their communal banks meet.
Pro Mujer in Bolivia works with over 100,000 impoverished women in eight of Bolivia's nine regions. A majority of clients reside in small cities and engage in commercial activity, very often in local markets or selling goods produced in home-based businesses.
Pro Mujer in Bolivia serves over 100,000 women with a loan portfolio of over $27 million and savings portfolio of over $10 million. Their average loan size is $298. In 2007, almost 100,000 women and their families obtained primary healthcare through Pro Mujer, including tens of thousands of young children. For example, more than 23,000 children were vaccinated against malaria.
Flora Callisaya is a 38-year-old single mother of three boys ages 12, 14, and 18. Living with her parents, Flora struggled to make out a living and to support her sons. Barely able to sustain her family with her earnings, Flora went to Pro Mujer to inquire about a loan. Appreciating Pro Mujerís mandatory savings program, she decided to join. Full Story