Building the Capacity of Savings and Credit Cooperatives
In the coastal region of Ecuador, a large majority of people, ranging from 74 to 94 percent of the population, live below the national poverty line. Approximately 60 percent of households receive government assistance, and education and skill levels are low. As a result, these rural areas are unattractive to formal financial institutions, leaving small savings and credit cooperatives as the only alternative for provision of financial services.
The Ecuador Economic Empowerment Initiative established a two-year partnership (2007 and 2008) between Swisscontact (Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation), the Legatum Foundation and our grant manager, Geneva Global, in the coastal region of Ecuador. With an investment of US$ 820,000, the initiative focussed on building the institutional capacity of four small, undersourced cooperatives through the provision of technical assistance and lines of credit for loan capital.