Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a chapter of Global Business Brigades, an international movement of university students and professionals building economic opportunities in the developing world. We work alongside promising entrepreneurs and experienced year-round staff to create financial opportunities in remote, rural, and under resourced areas of Honduras and Ghana. We work with communities to build community-owned banks to provide access to loans, savings accounts and financial literacy for community members. Volunteers assist in consulting micro-enterprises, assessing loan capacity payments and providing financial literacy workshops to families. nnIn conjunction with our Business Program, Global Brigades also supports communities with healthcare, sanitation and clean water projects, and uniquely implements these programs in a holistic model to meet a community’s health and economic goals. Our model systematically builds community ownership and collaboratively executes programs with the end goal of sustainably evolving to a relationship of impact monitoring. To learn more, please visit www.globalbrigades.org.
RECENT OR UPCOMING BRIGADES
Aug 31, 2014 - Sep 06, 2014
Cal Poly SLO volunteers will spend 7 days in a rural community in Panama to help provide solutions to the community’s economic needs. The target beneficiaries have been previously excluded from formal financial institutions & therefore lacked access to savings and credit opportunities. Beneficiaries tend to have a low level of income, lack of collateral, & low level of education. During the brigade, volunteers divide into small groups to conduct household visits in which they get to know the family, assess each household’s level of financial competency and entrepreneurial aspirations. After the assessments the volunteers provide educational and technical assistance in the form of workshops. Topics range from personal finance to basic accounting and business planning. Additionally, volunteers invest in the community savings and loan (S&L) cooperative by providing seed capital. In turn, the seed capital provides loans to a small business to either expand current operations or pursue a new entrepreneurial opportunity. Working side-by-side with community members affords volunteers the opportunity for cultural exchange, micro-finance, and consulting experience. The households benefit by learning personal financial and business skills and gain access to credit and savings opportunities. Community businesses benefit from the consulting and loans. The community benefits because the profits earned by the S&L stay in the community to be used by the community!