The Strong Hearts micro-finance program fosters the development of locally owned businesses in the Kore community. Because of the extreme poverty in this area, many residents lack access to basic necessities such as basic nutrition and health care, schools, clean water, and in-house kitchens and toilets.
The Strong Hearts business development program has been designed to meet government guidelines for promoting new businesses within Ethiopia. Five to eight members of the community come together to decide what business they would like to start, forming their own business development team. Forming a team rather than working as an individual helps to ensure that each member is accountable for the loan they will receive, as well as for the work they will be doing. They will be able to support each other to achieve a common goal to run a successful business.
Strong Hearts staff members will review each group’s business proposal to ensure it has potential to generate a profit and flourish in the existing market. Upon final approval of the group’s business plan, the staff will work closely with each of these groups to determine the amount of the loan appropriate for each business’ needs as well as the terms of the loan. Once the business is established, our staff will assist the group by providing advice on an ongoing basis to ensure the business’ success.
The program is open to all members of the Strong Hearts Kore Community Center who have an interest in beginning their own businesses. Examples of current businesses include selling coffee, injera and candles to local residents and supermarkets.