A study conducted in cooperation with Heilbronn University about the economic and social changes resulting from our work shows surprising results.
We analysed 15 participants who received a total of 24 micro loans between 2014 and 2016. On average, the micro entrepreneurs were able to raise their daily income from 1,76€ to 2,50€ per person. This is a 42% increase! The United Nations define extreme poverty below a daily income of 1,90 US Dollar. Therefore, our goal to empower people to escape extreme poverty was reached. “All micro loans have been repaid so far. But that the average change in income is that high was not clear to us” explains Director Tobias Schüßler. “For us and our partners, it was even more important to find out the impact on our participants’ lives and how their economic success influenced their self-confidence.”
For three participants, clear improvements in health could be measured. For example, Siti (53) from Indonesia was unable to continue her employment due to exhaustion. Three months after receiving two consecutive micro loans, she now earns considerably more than before and her health condition has visibly improved as well.
For six other borrowers, our partners could attest positive changes in self-confidence. “The people stop considering themselves as poor. This changes everything,” reports Leslie Nabong from Project Life in the Philippines. “Two years ago Catherine, for example, was very insecure and could not solve most problems without our help. Now she manages her business independently and finds her own solutions when challenges arise.”
Not all projects can be considered a full success. Two of our participants decided to discontinue their business after they repaid their loans. “For us, this is a small disappointment”, explains Schüßler, “but once the project is completed, the participants can decide freely what to do with their business. At least this opportunity to choose their path is a freedom that they did not have before.”