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Micro Credit and Small Enterprises

In many developing nations just a small amount of capital is enough to radically transform lives. That's why Helping Hands projects typically include self-help groups as a component, as well as micro credit and establishment of micro enterprises or income generating activities.

In self-help groups women learn to save a small amount of money each week and receive loans that are sometimes given from an external source but usually out of the group's savings. These loans, given at a low interest rate that the group members agree upon, allow the women to establish micro enterprises—for example raising cattle, a small shop, fruit trees, a sewing machine for tailoring or a variety of other income generating activities.

Helping Hands' partners help with planning and implementation, offer advice and training. Through micro enterprises the family income usually increases so much that previously impoverished families are able to send their children to school, afford more nutritious and more regular meals, better clothes and a decent home and look towards the future with hope.

In many countries these enterprises also contribute to vastly improving women's status in the family and community; that's why self-help groups are a significant part of all holistic projects run by Helping Hands and their partners.