Break the cycle of poverty and transform a life, a family, a village, a generation!
By Ginny Green
Apoyo a Gente Emprendedora AC (support for enterprising people) or “Apoyo,” helps individuals or existing small businesses by providing small loans, management support and mentoring, to enable them to engage in income-producing and civic improvement activities, which result in growth, self-esteem and financial worth.
Apoyo has been providing assistance to families in 20 small villages in the San Miguel area for more than 10 years. These communities are economically and socially burdened with very high unemployment and substandard educational opportunities with little expectation for change. One need only visit one of these communities to be shocked by the need and indeed by the gratitude by those receiving Apoyo’s assistance.
2013 marks the 10th Anniversary of Apoyo a Gente Emprendedora, AC
Since 2003 Apoyo has provided over 300 micro-loans to entrepreneurs to start or expand their businesses in the city of San Miguel de Allende and in more than 20 surrounding rural villages. Every loan is 3,000 pesos and 95 percent of the loans are paid back in 10 months.
Meet Angelica for example; Angélica is in the front row third from the left. Here she is standing with 39 other entrepreneurs at the Graduation Ceremony of a 12-week business course taught by Cristian Gutiérrez for two hours a week at the Apoyo Office in colonia Guadalupe. Every week Angélica made her own way to the course from La Cuadrilla, a rural village near Los Ricos and Atotonilco. Angelica used her loan to start a tienda in her village and to form a cooperative among the women in the village to make tablecloths, serviettes, napkins and bolsas, all beautifully embroidered.
On a bi-weekly mentoring visit to La Cuadrilla by Ezequiel Mojica, Director of Apoyo, members of the Apoyo team learned from Angelica she was in need of basic business skills for her own tienda and for the womens’ co-operative to prosper, thus the first Apoyo Entrepreneur/School was born and above is a picture of the graduates taken December 17, 2012.
Apoyo also builds coalitions to implement more community development projects with other NGOs.
Don Miguel in Loma de Cocinas, a rural village 45 minutes to the north of San Miguel, just beyond Los Rodríguez. Miguel borrowed 3,000 pesos to buy three goats, now he raises goats and sells each for approximately 1,200 pesos a goat. His herd numbers nine now; goats are prolific. Miguel is also a representative for the Eco-stove Program, an Apoyo/Rotary Club partnership. Apoyo identifies the entrepreneur and lends him or her the money to buy and sell the stoves. In the last five months Miguel has sold 13 stoves in his own village.
For more information about Apoyo and/or to make a tax-deductible donation please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Ezequiel Mojica Director of Apoyo a Gente Emprendedora at 152 2867.
Weekly visits to the villages to experience the positive pride, self–esteem, confidence and values of entrepreneurs and their families are offered by Apoyo. When you contact Apoyo, just say you would like someone to email or call you back about making a visit.