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Oct 23, 2018

Copper Bank Community Credit Enterprise is Helping Fisherfolk

Orlando Olivera

There is another programme that Belize Audubon Society helped to establish in Copper Bank Village – it’s called the Community Credit Enterprise. Back in 2009, Audubon sought the assistance of donors and other partners, including an organization from Costa Rica called FINCA which provided the training to implement the programme. The aim was to fund a grassroots credit programme that contributes to the social and economic development of small communities that are dependent on natural resources. The way it works is that a group of residents contribute capital in the form of shares to form a business that is dedicated to granting micro loans to its members to foster entrepreneurship. To date, the Copper Bank Community Credit Enterprise has loaned eighty-thousand dollars and has grown from thirteen members in 2009 to over one hundred contributing members and seventy minors are taking part in the savings programme. President Orlando Olivera shares how it is helping underprivileged families.

 

Orlando Olivera, President, Copperbank Community Credit Enterprise

“They buy shares and they become a member of the enterprise. And being a member they could make a loan. We put the rule that for one share, they could borrow a hundred dollars. They borrow for education, for agriculture, for fishing if they want to buy equipment. They can borrow if they want to start a small business. Even on Sundays if they need a little money, they can come and get it. But in the bank, you can’t go on Sundays or Saturdays only if you have money there and you have a bank card with which you can take out the money, which is the only way you can get it. But you have to travel Corozal to do that. And sometimes you have to go first and say you need money and they will tell you what day you have to go and get it. But here today you can get it as fast as that and I think that is a good way to help people.”

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