After a series of socio-economic crises, Argentina is now faced with structural poverty and employment problems. In order to reduce economic dependence, the Asociacion Civil de Puertas Abiertas launched Caring Loans in 2011. This initiative is intended to provide employment opportunities to the poorest residents of the San Cayetano district. Two strategic approaches were used: access to micro-credit and access to training.
In order to develop a local system of micro-credit and to strengthen ties among neighbors, Caring Loans sets up community banks. Loans are given to solidarity groups, which meet regularly to grant loans, support projects and collect fees to cover participation costs
Caring Loans also provides sales training to enable micro-entrepreneurs to acquire essential tools and skills for managing a micro-enterprise (from accounting to calculation of costs and margins). These training programs are essential to the success of the project because they help to foster an entrepreneurial spirit, develop community ties and, above all, ensure that the micro-credits that are granted have a positive impact.
For the past three years, Caring Loans has been successfully supporting the residents of low-income neighborhoods in launching micro-enterprises (catering, clothing makers, artisans, services etc.). The program is designed primarily for low-income individuals (in particular women, as they are the most vulnerable to precarious socio-economic conditions).
The Foundation's involvement consists in covering a portion of the costs of supporting eight groups of ten entrepreneurs through providing loans, skills training and professional resources for accounting and fundraising.