Pro Mujer Launches Integrated Microfinance Program in Argentina, Targets the Most Impoverished

Monday, November 14, 2005

Pro Mujer, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Latin America’s poorest women help themselves through micro-credit, business training and health care linkages announced today the launch of operations in its fifth Latin American country, Argentina. With financial support from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Pro Mujer plans to initiate operations in the province of Salta, Northern Argentina at the beginning of December 2005.

An Argentine wine tasting event will be held November 14 to celebrate the launch of Pro Mujer in Argentina. Over 200 guests, including honoree Carlos Alfaro, Managing Partner of Alfaro & Associates and special guests, Argentine Deputy Counsel, Alejandro Bertolo, actor Robert Duvall and his wife Luciana Duvall and Argentine supermodel Ines Rivero are expected to attend the event at the America’s Society to support the expansion of Pro Mujer’s operations in Latin America. Sponsors of the event include The Omnicom Group, Developing World Markets, Hispanic USA, The Americas Society and Frederick Wildman & Sons.

Initial funding of $100,000 for the launch of operations was granted by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation. The Foundation has supported Pro Mujer initiatives since 2002, providing $350,000 of grant and loan funding to Pro Mujer operations in Mexico and Peru. Kimberly Davis, President of the JP Morgan Chase Foundation said, “We are pleased to continue to provide our support to Pro Mujer’s operations in Latin America. JP Morgan Chase is committed to supporting the continued economic growth and stability of Latin America, and microfinance plays an important role in that development. We have a track record with Pro Mujer and believe that it is one of the most effective and successful organizations working on a micro level to effect change amongst the very poor.”

Pro Mujer was founded in 1990 by Lynne Patterson, a school teacher from the U.S., and Carmen Velasco, a child psychologist from Bolivia who came together around a single vision: that given the resources, women in poverty, earning their livings as proprietors of small entrepreneurial businesses could help Latin America advance toward a better future. From that vision, Pro Mujer has grown to a microfinance network that has disbursed over $180 million to over 250,000 clients. Pro Mujer provides business training, health education and links to affordable healthcare for their clients and their families. The organization enjoys a repayment rate of 99% and its current clients have managed to generate savings of over $7.2 million.

“We are pleased to bring access to credit combined with essential training and healthcare linkages to Argentine women and their families,” said Lynne Patterson, co-founder of Pro Mujer and added, “It is critical that individuals, corporations and foundations continue to support Pro Mujer. The loans and services that we provide are the vehicles that permit impoverished women to improve the health and economic stability of their families.”

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Source: Yahoo! Finance (link opens in a new window)