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Working Capital for Community Needs

ARARIWA via WCCN Capital for Communities Fund Notes

Nonprofit creating economic opportunities for micro-entrepreneurs and farmers in Latin America

Founded in 1984, Working Capital for Community Needs (WCCN) is a nonprofit organization that empowers low-income Latin American entrepreneurs and small-scale farmers through access to microcredit and fair trade markets by sustaining partnerships with Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and Farming Cooperatives in Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Peru.


Your dollars support ARARIWA, a nonprofit serving small business owners and farmers in remote, rural areas that are generally not served by other lending institutions. ARARIWA borrowers have a low average loan size of $465—demonstrating ARARIWA’s commitment to serving very small business owners. 


Social Impact

ARARIWA is a nonprofit development organization. By organizing borrowers into community banks that meet regularly, ARARIWA has the opportunity to provide their borrowers training in financial management, business development, health and family well-being. This comprehensive approach of providing training in conjunction with microloans has proven to be a successful formula for ARARIWA helping over 19,000 small business owners succeed in 2011.

ARARIWA focuses on small businesses owners shut-out of the traditional financial system living in the countryside outside of Cuzco and the Amazonian region of Peru. ARARIWA primarily focuses its lending on women. Currently, 76% of ARARIWA's clients are women.

Impact Example

Ines is a community bank member of ARARIWA, WCCN’s newest partner agency. She and four friends started an association of weavers in Chincheros near Cusco, Peru in 2005. The women demonstrated how to weave and sold their products to tourists. They had a successful business but couldn’t afford to buy baby alpaca wool in sufficient quantities to meet demands. In 2009 they realized they needed access to credit to grow their business. By this time, their association of weavers had grown to 10 members. Working with ARARIWA, they formed the Nueva Victoria Community Bank to access micro-loans. Their business has been growing ever since.

Ines’ first loan in 2009 was for $192. Her current loan is for $1,150. She used both loans to buy baby alpaca wool that she washes and spins into wool, dyes using local plants and minerals and then weaves into beautiful hats, gloves, shawls and other apparel. Her and her fellow weavers’ success attracted the attention of other women in the area. Today Nueva Victoria has 45 members and a beautiful store. The women work a week at a time at the store, where they tend to clients and give weaving demonstrations to tourists. On alternate weeks, they tend to their homes, potato fields, families and weaving. Ines and Nueva Victoria Community Bank are shining examples of what women can accomplish when working together with the support of a microfinance institution that is dedicated to promoting rural women’s small businesses.




ARARIWA via WCCN Capital for Communities Fund Notes

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