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104 Neal Street
Portland
Maine 04101
USA
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Programs: WOMEN’S ENTREPRENEURIAL PROGRAM:

Founded in 2007, Breaking Ground’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Program (WEP) provides women with critical business skills and the confidence to put them to use. In collaboration with the locally-based Community Research and Development Center (COREDEC), we offer a seven-week business course that incorporates topics such as feasibility studies, basic marketing, cost analysis, and leadership, among others.

Many WEP participants have no personal finances and have no experience in approaching banks for loans. The WEP’s classes have become renowned and respected in the community and have helped many women overcome their fear of the banking system and apply directly for a loan. However, there are still many women who struggle to qualify for bank loans, often because they are single or widowed mothers with no assets. In response to this, Breaking Ground established a program of providing micro-grants to selected participants at the end of each class cycle. To date, Breaking Ground has provided start-up grants to twenty-two female-run business in Ngaoundéré, ranging from raising poultry to selling books.

Mission:
MISSION
Enabling Cameroonian communities to break ground on sustainable, locally initiated projects.

CORE VALUES
We believe that a community development project can only effectively address the needs of a population if it is conceived, planned, and implemented by the community for whom it is intended.

Furthermore, we believe that a project’s long-term sustainability is reliant on the deep-seated investment of the local population, and that this investment cannot be fostered through the work of a foreign entity like ourselves, but must develop organically through a collective recognition of the identified problem and a commitment to solve it.

Thus, Breaking Ground sees the role for outsiders in development as providers of funding and strategic resources to assist locally-initiated projects. By empowering Cameroonian communities to realize their own grassroots projects, we enable truly sustainable, bottom-up development.

OUR UNIQUE APPROACH
Breaking Ground takes two approaches to empowering grassroots development initiative:

Community Partnership Program: We provide seed funding to the locally-initiated projects of mobilized communities.

Small Enterprise Development Program: We provide training and resources to increase the ability of individuals and families to earn money through their primary income-generating activities, better enabling them to invest in their own local initiatives.
Results:
We have made a tangible impact in the lives of over 35,000 Cameroonians.

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12/20/12
I worked with Breaking Ground as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon and I could not be happier with my experience with them. Paul Zangue is an amazing director and really cares about the women he works with. I know for a fact that Breaking Ground has changed the lives of several women for the ... more »
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