Microfinance is the provision of financial services to the poor. Individuals are provided with small loans to start or grow small businesses, allowing them to become economically self-sufficient, provide for their families in the long-term, and replace dependency on limited donor funds. Microfinance fosters self-reliance in impoverished people in a way that charity doesn’t. Studies have shown that microfinance borrowers increase their income, build successful businesses, and reduce their risk to external shocks. Microfinance is the strongest poverty alleviation tool today.
A microfinance institution (MFI) is an organization that provides financial services to the poor. MFIs come in many shapes and sizes, and could refer to non-profit organizations, credit unions, cooperatives, private commercial banks, branches of state-owned banks, etc. Many of these MFIs offer services other than just loans.
No, Seven Bar Foundation is not a microfinance institution and does not directly provide any type of loans to individuals. Instead, the Seven Bar Foundation uses its unique business model and positioning to raise money for microfinance institutions that in turn use that money to fund individuals with micro-loans.
The Seven Bar Foundation is not a microfinance institution and does not provide any type of loans to individuals; rather, we are a fund-to-fund, providing funding to microfinance institutions across the globe. If you are an individual seeking a microloan, we suggest that you apply through one of our accredited MFI partners: ACCION USA, Kiva, or Women’s World Banking.
The Seven Bar Foundation uses luxury lingerie shows as a platform to promote the empowerment of women through microfinance. Luxury lingerie is a niche market that showcases confident, fierce women. The Foundation has used this platform to gain thousands of media impressions, create brand awareness, and promote our mission of microfinance.
. Yes! The Seven Bar Foundation launched its first panty line with the Empowered By You brand at Lingerie London 2012. Empowered By You is an all-occasion low-rise Brazilian cut thong that makes the seamless transition from yoga class to cocktail party and is perfect for everyday wear. 20% of the proceeds from every Empowered By You purchase go directly to the Seven Bar Foundation microfinance fund, empowering the woman who wears them with the knowledge she is empowering women entrepreneurs across the globe. For more information on Empowered By You, to read celebrity endorsements, or to make a purchase, visit www.empoweredbyyou.com.
Cause marketing is the collaboration of a for-profit business and a non-profit organization or social enterprise. Through the partnership, the for-profit business benefits from the marketing advantages of associating with a good cause, and in return a portion of the proceeds from the for-profit product goes to the non-profit or social cause.
Seven Bar Foundation stands behind the studies that show that women are more likely to repay their loans then their male counterparts. Women are disproportionately affected by global poverty, with over 60% of the women in the world living on less than a dollar a day. Small loans also empower women within their households, and because women are nurturers, they are more likely to spend their profits on their household and their children.
Yes. Fixed-income microfinance funds return an average of 5.8% in U.S. dollars (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor). Unlike most charity organizations, microfinance institutions are designed to be sustainable, with the interest on each loan providing capital for the next loan, and sometimes a profit.
Unfortunately, it is very expensive to lend to the poor. Many of the people in need around the world live in very rural areas that are difficult to access. In addition, the fixed cost of a loan, whether $100 or $100,000, is almost the same. Thus, the interest rate that needs to be charged seems disproportionate. We only partner with accredited MFIs with low interest rates. For more information on this process, click here.
Because poverty is a very complex and multi-dimensional problem, it would be presumptuous to state that microfinance is the singular solution. However, along with other mechanisms, microfinance has proven to be one of the most effective tools for poverty alleviation — the solution lies in the time and resources invested.
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