Compartamos Banco offers its client four different types of loans: Women Credit, Merchant Credit, Grow your Business Credit and Home Improvement Credit. The predominant majority of the loans are Crédito Mujer -loans (Women Credit): a credit granted personally to women in groups from 12 to 50 members, with solidarity guarantee, for investment in their business. All clients with Crédito Mujer receive also a free life insurance and if they wish, they may purchase additional modules to increase their insured amount.
Every Crédito Mujer-group has a president and a treasurer who are responsible for running the weekly reembolso (reimbursement) meetings. Compartamos loan officer is present in the meeting in a supervisory role. All the members of the group bring in their weekly installment and additionally a small saving (the amount is decided within the group).
Last week we travelled to a small town of San Martin Texmelucan approximately 2 hours south-east from Mexico City. During the day we followed one of the loan officers through the rambling streets and narrow dirt-roads to the client meetings around the town. We met three different groups – all of them running their meetings with efficiency and routine. Here are a couple of women posing with their new Compartamos aprons – ready to return back to work after the meeting.