The private, nonprofit organization established in 2005 by philanthropic organic mega-retailer Whole Foods Market provides grants to microfinance institutions in Latin America, Africa and Asia which in turn “develop and offer microenterprise loan programs, training and other financial services to the self-employed poor.”
Usually, these poor are women (90 percent) and typical loan amounts are, as the name suggests, micro by Western standards — often just a few hundred dollars. According to the Foundation’s comprehensive website, average first loan size in the developing world is $164.
But these loans, which require no collateral, credit history or binding contracts, routinely mean the difference between self-sustainability and hopelessness, allowing borrowers to establish businesses they couldn’t otherwise get off the ground.
To date, the Foundation has witnessed a payback rate of 97 percent on the staggering $32,095,574 (U.S.) committed to some 224,772 microcredit clients in 54 countries globally.
read more here