Introduction to our Partners
Arcubus has partnered with the UK’s leading microfinance charities – Opportunity International, the MicroLoan Foundation and Five Talents – to make sure your gifts of time and money have maximum impact on the ground.
Our partners are all grass-roots microfinance specialists and between them have been operating for 49 years. They are not commercial microfinance institutions – for each, the mission is to fight poverty not to generate profits for share holders. This means they have avoided many of the traps and criticism of commercial microfinance (contact us if you want to know more about this).
Today, our partners together serve 2 million clients – so using the ratio that each client has 5 dependents, they are impacting 12 million people. That’s not including all the jobs created by the most successful entrepreneurs too. One client in Uganda now employs 70 people in his car-washing business!
The Microloan Foundation
The MicroLoan Foundation operates in Malawi and Zambia with a mission to help poor rural women set up businesses to generate income to feed and look after their families. Founded in 1999 by CEO Peter Ryan, last year it made small loans totalling £2.98million to women in Malawi and Zambia. Like all of our partners, it prioritises training, and it was one of the first microfinance charities to adopt the Grameen Foundation’s Progress out of Poverty Index.
Five Talents offers ‘microfinance for the marginalised’ – it specialises in providing business training, safe ways to save and small loans for poorer people in riskier places. It was established by the Anglican church to serve people of all faiths and none. It works in 11 countries with a loan portfolio of £1.6million and client savings of £800,000. In Africa, its programmes are in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and South Sudan.
Opportunity International is the oldest and largest of our partners, with a loan portfolio of over £250million and more than 500,000 savings accounts. It operates in more than 20 countries; in Africa, these are DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda but with a particular focus on Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Ghana where it combines loans, savings, insurance and education.