Project Description

Namaste Direct

The collaboration between Advance Guatemala and Namaste Direct provides unique business development services and microloans for women entrepreneurs in Guatemala, endowing them with a powerful set of tools for their social and economic development.

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Collaboration Funds Raised
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Funded Projects
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Businesses Impacted by Collaborations

Namaste Direct’s mission is to increase the profits of our clients and measure success in the percentage of clients who achieve positive increases in cash flow.

To improve the lives of clients and their families, Namaste Direct offers a personalized package for economic empowerment, including: 

  • Monthly one-on-one business training in cash flow analysis and business development, with a local, specialized business advisor
  • 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

In our collaborative work together, each organization leverages its strengths to ensure that everyone wins. Namaste Direct’s in-country infrastructure serves as the foundation to our project’s success. Namaste Direct identifies the entrepreneurs that will be funded and trained by their advisors, and Advance Guatemala helps increase the level of necessary funding to improve the sustainability and impact we can accomplish together.   

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Focus on Financial Literacy

Without basic financial training, many microcredit borrowers can end up worse off than before they took a loan. With this program, each Namaste Direct Entrepreneur learns important cash management techniques, such as separating business from personal money. Through culturally-sensitive education materials and participatory techniques, clients learn by doing, along with a supportive group of cohorts. As a result, Namaste Direct Entrepreneurs gain control over their businesses and their lives.

Our Customized Microcredit Program

Each woman’s business is unique, which is why microloans are tailored to the specific needs of each client. 

Before making a loan, Namaste Direct performs metrics to qualify clients and to help determine the program’s impact. At the outset, the organization measures the daily income of each Namaste Entrepreneur. Within 30 days of receiving a loan, 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 verifying 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 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.

Success Stories