The Educational Micro-lending Program
The Educational Micro-Lending Program (EMLP) is the core program of Apoyo. In the past decade, EMLP has helped over three hundred individuals and cooperatives start their own income-generating enterprises by awarding micro-loans, and by providing workshops and support services. These no-interest loans are between five thousand and seven thousand pesos (approximately $350 U.S.), and the workshops range in topics from leadership skills and teamwork, to overcoming personal obstacles, and to writing a solid business plan.
EMLP, in contrast with most micro-lenders, requires all applicants to attend its workshops in order to be eligible for a loan. This requirement serves two purposes: it gives Apoyo the opportunity to become better acquainted with the entrepreneurs and their projects before granting a loan; and it improves the applicants’ odds of running a successful business once the loan has been awarded. Afterward, the loan recipients stay in close communication with Apoyo through its mentoring program. The repayment rate is over 87.5 percent. Apoyo’s assistance enables new business owners to realize their dreams, to support their families, and to become role models and catalysts for positive economic and social change in their communities.
The EMLP seeks to empower poor entrepreneurs by increasing access to business credit, by making no-interest loans and, most importantly, by providing technical and leadership training. Apoyo’s support to new business owners enables them to realize their dreams, become the catalysts for positive economic and social change in their communities, and allow them to support their families.
Rural Women's Network (RWN)
Healthy and informed women are stronger women. A project designed at empowering women to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families. Apoyo wants to provide an environment where women encourage and learn from one another and in turn, strengthen their communities.
This project has the purpose of improving the well-being of the family unit in poor rural villages through education of the women, raising awareness of healthy living and to teach skills to women in order for them to create and sustain a nutritious food supply and generating income producing activities, selling what they produce with their new skills and new financial values, allowing them to become financially independent.
In the year 2014, The Apoyo´s learning center was inaugurated. The learning center provides training and mentoring to entrepreneurs from the rural area and low income neighborhoods. The education and training is aimed at enhancing self-esteem, strengthening security, and eventually, preparing for the opportunity to create their own income-producing activities in their community. The learning center provides training and mentoring to entrepreneurs from the rural area and low income neighborhoods.
In 2022, the learning center has evolved into a bigger project: The Apoyo´s Technical Training Institute
Apoyo's Technical Training Institute
In addition to maintaining and growing our existing programs, our long-term goal is for the construction of the San Miguel Technical Training Institute.
We recognize the limited opportunities for poor, under-educated members of our community. Most of them will never have the chance to attend University or receive any formal career development training. The Institute will operate as a facility for specialty trade training: health care professionals, electricians, plumbers, auto mechanics, computer technicians, metal workers, etc.
The concept is to provide training in a special trade skill with experienced teachers and craftsman developing the criteria and conducting classes. Upon completion of the course, the graduates will be placed as journeymen or apprentices with established businesses to learn and grow and hopefully some day start their own business.
Our goal is to find a structure suitable for modification, or to find land and build our own facility. It will be designed with classrooms, labs, craft shops, auditorium, offices, and storage facilities. In the future, the property can be expanded to include a dormitory and cafeteria to accommodate students attending from around the State of Guanajuato and other locations in Mexico.
The need is there and our dream is to provide a chance for deserving people to have a better life for themselves and their families.