Last week I admitted how I thought that micro-enterprises (small businesses) were all about micro-lending (mostly wealthy people lending money to poor people). But over the years, Five Talents has developed an extremely effective savings-group model. Five Talents helps the poor identify and develop their own resources.
So, if all the money used for loans is coming from the savings groups, then why does Five Talents need to raise money? We pay the salaries of regional trainers in each country who, in turn, train dozens of local volunteers who make the savings groups work. We also provide for the logistics of the trainers: cell phones; bicycles; etc. The ability to leverage each dollar is tremendous. One trainer may be responsible for up to 50 savings groups, each with 10 to 25 participants. Then each participant who takes out a loan supports, on average, six or seven family members.
We also use some of the money we raise, of course, to “keep the lights on.” (Quite literally.) Our budget for utilities, rent, and the salaries of Five Talents staff around the world is extremely small, with very dedicated staff, often part time, and often working for this non-profit because they believe in what we can accomplish.
If you have any questions about how we are good stewards of your gifts, please let me know. And if you are interested in making a gift online, please click here.
Until next Monday morning, blessings,
Executive Director, Five Talents USA