Advance Guatemala is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization


1408 Hudson Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94124

415-440-2226 (p)
415-440-2229 (f)

Charity Mission
NamasteDirect provides unique business development services for women in Guatemala, endowing them with a powerful set of tools for social and economic development. Though we are a not-for-profit organization, our mission is to increase the profits of our clients. We measure our success in the percentage of our clients who achieve positive increases in cash flow.

To improve the lives of our clients and their families, we offer a personalized package for economic empowerment, including: • Monthly one-on-one training in cash flow analysis and business development, with one of our local, specialized Business Advisors. • Facilitation of lively, business education exercises, allowing women to share best practices within a group of peers. • A low-interest microcredit loan for business improvement and expansion.

Our Customized Microcredit Program
Each woman’s business in unique, which is why we tailor our microloans to the specific needs of each client. Before even making a loan, however, we perform metrics to qualify clients and to help us determine our impact. At the outset we measure the daily income of each Namaste Entrepreneur. Within 30 days of receiving a loan, our borrowers must satisfy their personal business adviser that they have invested at least 80% of the loan proceeds into their businesses. Throughout the loan cycle, clients must demonstrate that their business profits are sufficient to be the source of loan repayments. These steps help us guard against ‘loan stacking’ and the inappropriate use of funds, issues which plague the booming microcredit industry. After we are satisfied that each new Namaste Entrepreneur is on a solid footing for success, Namaste Business Advisors work with their clients to define specific business objectives, outlining small steps to take to achieve their dreams.

Our One-to-one Business Advising Program
Each Namaste Entrepreneur is assigned a professional business advisor for the duration of their loan cycle. Business advisors are local community leaders, well versed in the local economy and also the indigenous language of the region. Together, client and advisor go through the details of the business, focusing on cash-flow analysis, detailed record keeping, and strategic planning. The Namaste training methodology – highly sensitive to literacy rates and cultural needs – is crafted to keep each client on track.

Focus on Financial Literacy
We have seen that without basic financial training, many microcredit borrowers can end up worse off than before they took a loan. So in our program, each Namaste Entrepreneur learns important cash management techniques, such as separating business from personal money. Through culturally-sensitive education materials and participatory techniques, our clients learn by doing, along with a supportive group of cohorts. As a result, Namaste Entrepreneurs gain control over their businesses, and their lives.

Funding Information
Total Funding Goal: $20,000
Actual Funding To Date: $10,000
Total number of people impacted: 200

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