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PERU: Small Business Loan Program Creates Jobs for Women

Completed Project

Impact Assessment: 

Overal rating: Achieved

Actual number of lives impacted: 5,672

Read full Impact Assessment: ARDF-0911-Peru-5 Talents-OI-M-IA

In Their Own Words: 

“All kind of jobs mean sacrifice and this one is what we do as it was passed from our generation, from our parents. There is also the need to survive, as in this place agriculture and livestock are more so profitable and I see in my knitting an opportunity in generating some support for my family. I wake up every day at 5 a.m. to have breakfast and [at] 7 a.m., I start knitting till 4:30 p.m. Then I start cooking and at 10 p.m., I have already done some more knitting so then I can go to sleep. We eat twice a day and the biggest sacrifice is our eyes, as they get tired and my back hurts, as well as my hands at the end of our working day. Working this way, I can make two pairs of gloves per day and 10 per week. Then I can sell them in the Yauli fair so I can get more money to buy more wool to knit more [as well as] vegetables, fruit and grocery. I am very happy with what I do because I help my husband. … I see life in another way. It makes me have hope and belief again – a better world for my family.” — Dominga lives in the Huancavelica area with her four children, ages 2 to 17 years old. She received a $100 loan from ECLOF that she used to buy raw materials for her knitting business.


Peru’s rapid economic expansion has helped reduce the national poverty rate by more than 19 percent since 2002. However, unemployment and underemployment rates remain high. The southern regions of Lima and Huancavelica are characterized by extreme poverty. Many residents suffer from chronic malnutrition and lack adequate housing, clean water and sanitation. The population has largely migrated from rural areas and most are not educated. Just 15 percent of people in these regions can read. Limited government and social services assistance help a few people. The Huancavelica region has many single mothers or abandoned women who support the family when their male breadwinners move to cities in search of work. These women are small business entrepreneurs who have skills, but need working capital.

From 2011 to 2013, Five Talents International (FTI), a Christian microfinance charity, the Ecumenical Church Loan Fund (ECLOF) and the Anglican Diocese of Peru provided loan capital to ECLOF members in Lima and Huancavelica. During the project term, 406 people became members of ECLOF by forming savings and credit groups. During the same time, 810 members benefited from attending training sessions on business planning, personal development, product development, sales and marketing. As a result of access to loans, business training and assistance with start-up businesses, participants’ household income rose, which, in turn, improved each household’s access to food, education, sanitation and medical assistance. Furthermore, spiritual training and outreach activities conducted in collaboration with the Anglican Diocese have positively impacted participants’ interactions with family and communities, as well as contributed to their overall improved home life.

The project achieved four of its goals, exceeded one and fell below expectations in one, earning an overall rating of “Achieved.”

Small business Loan Program Creates Jobs for Women

The Anglican Relief and Development Fund, Five Talents International and the Ecumenical Church Loan Fund (ECLOF) will provide loan capital to ECLOF members in Lima and single mothers in Huancavelica. The clients’ capacity to save and borrow will be built and strengthened with basic business skill training to community members and the Anglican Diocese of Peru will provide spiritual training.

Lives Impacted: 3,500

Funds Needed: $39,200

Full Project Information: ARDF – Peru – Micro-finance

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