Alterfin is a co-op society whose mission is to contribute to the development of local financial networks in developing countries that are oriented towards opportunity-poor or oppressed groups in society. Alterfin provides finance mainly through credit, but also through guarantees and temporary share participation. Today Alterfin's portfolio amounts to $13.1 million spread over 63 organisations. Alterfin's resources have been used to finance an estimated 18,000 microenterprise and small business entrepreneurs, including farmers and rural producers.
Alterfin offers a variety of programs that integrate clients into the economy and generate capital for reinvestment:
- Lending to MFI's and to rural producers: The core activity of Alterfin is lending to MFI's and associations of rural producers. This funding gives these organisations the possibility of reaching more clients, and giving them credit in order to finance their own productive activities. Today Alterfin's portfolio amounts to $13.1 million (June 2009).
- Portfolio management: Alterfin makes available its financing experience to investment funds wanting to invest in MFI's or producers' associations. As of June 2009 we manage a portfolio of $ 32.1 million by order of responsAbility Social Investment Services AG (Switzerland).
- Technical assistance to developing organizations: Apart from financial support, Alterfin also provides technical assistance to developing organizations regarding development of credit and savings programs, financial sustainability, and the social impact of credit programs.
- Shares of Alterfin: The capital of Alterfin shares represents its financial basis from which credits can be offered. With investment in Alterfin, the shareholder contributes to a more just world and at the same time has all the rights as a co-operative shareholder.
- North-South Savings Account of the Triodos Bank: Savings mobilized on these specific accounts are preferentially used to finance development in the South. As Alterfin is earning a commission on these savings, they are also an important source of income.
About 65% of Alterfin's loans are disbursed to microfinance organizations and the other 35% of the loans are made to associations of rural producers. The loan organizations with which Alterfin works in the South include Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Columbia, Chile, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Mexico, Laos, Cambodia, Morocco, Niger, Uganda, Benin and Togo. Apart from microfinance, other sectors are involved including fair-trade cocoa, coffee, sesame, wine, honey and bananas.
Alterfin estimates that 67% of their clients are female and over 50% of all their clients live in rural areas.
With a total portfolio of $45.2 million (June 2009), Alterfin's programs and services have far-reaching effects on various sectors in developing economies. These sectors include microfinance and fair trade. Alterfin has contributed greatly to developing countries by promoting individual and collective economic activities that are initiated locally and contribute to sustainable development. In June 2009, Alterfin directly or indirectly financed 25 producers' associations as well as 38 microfinance institutions across the globe.
ACOPAGRO is a cocoa producers’ cooperative in the North of Peru, with over 500 associated members. The organization provides technical assistance to the farmers in order to augment the productivity and quality of the cocoa crop, with particular emphasis on organic production. Moreover, the cooperative helps producers for the commercialization of their cocoa on the conventional, bio and fair trade markets. Members can also apply for credits in order to prefinance the harvest. As from 2006, ALTERFIN is financing the growth of the cocoa production and commercialization of the Acopagro cooperative. Full Story