Empowering Women to Lift Themselves from Poverty
Many women in rural Guatemala have the skills and motivation to start a business but lack the necessary resources or infrastructure. Through partnerships with Guatemalan NGOs, BFB Foundation is providing direct impact to rural women, helping them start businesses.
- Riecken Community Libraries
- De la Gente
Riecken Community Libraries: Five Year Women’s Leadership Projects (2015-2019)
BFB Foundation supports five groups of rural women through Riecken Community Libraries in its Women’s Leadership Project. Designed to help identify a need or project in their local community, the program creates a support system for a woman and other community leaders to organize around the project. Over the five years, each group gained skills and received training to help establish their projects.
The projects range from a tree nursery to egg and honey production, food product sales, making children’s clothing, artisanal weavings for handbags and wearable items, and natural home cleaning and medicinal products. Each one has generated income or created value in the community for the women involved, positively impacting their families and communities.
Namaste: Business Training Seminar (Began April 2019)
Starting in 2019, the BFB Foundation will expand support for the Women’s Leadership Projects developed over the last five years by providing advisory assistance on business plan development through Namaste.
Lead by a designated Namaste business advisor the women will receive monthly daylong sessions focused on business plan development.
Business ideas being explored include production of organic chicken, turkey and quail eggs, cosmetics and jewelry, homemade dairy products, baked goods, cooking and food sales, personal and home cleaning products, bridal veils, and footwear.
De la Gente Women's Loan Fund
In 2015 the BFB Foundation provided a $10,000 interest free loan to support three women coffee farmers starting their own coffee businesses through De la Gente. The loan helps the women pay for equipment or land, and it is paid back over five years. The funds are then re-invested in other women coffee farmers to continue the cycle.
With this critical funding the women are able to create sustainable, profitable businesses and afford education, healthcare, housing, and nutrition for their families creating healthy, thriving communities.