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November 1, 2012
SosteNica began its loan fund work in the early 1990s as one of the very first organizations to offer micro loans to those who would never qualify for larger bank loans. I visited the women's weaving cooperative which was the recipient of their very first informal loan. The operation was small, only about a half a dozen women - all mothers. Their production had stopped completely since they did not have the capital to purchase the cotton thread needed to get their looms up and running. SosteNica offered them a modest loan and drove them to Managua, the capital city, to purchase their yarn. While the initial loan was essential, the technical assistance and faith expressed in their abilities strike me as some of the unique features of SosteNica's program. More than twenty years later, this weaving cooperative is still producing beautiful loom-woven textiles and providing meaningful income to these enterprising women. To me, this is a profound testimony to the effectiveness of micro-lending. SosteNica has offered me and many others the opportunity to stand with Nicaraguans who are working tirelessly to improve their standard of living through small, local businesses and farms.
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