|AIG Awards $1 Million to Pro Mujer Argentina To Support Women Entrepreneurs|
New York, September 27, 2007 – Pro Mujer, a leading microfinance network in Latin America and a pioneer in combining financial services with healthcare for the poorest women entrepreneurs, today announced that Pro Mujer Argentina was awarded a US$1 million grant from American International Group, Inc. (AIG). The three-year grant will support Pro Mujer Argentina's financial and health services, and help finance its loan portfolio.
“This very generous and timely grant from AIG provides initial operating funds that will enable Pro Mujer Argentina to achieve financial sustainability,” said Lynne Patterson, Executive Director and Co-founder of Pro Mujer. “We appreciate AIG's confidence in Pro Mujer and we look forward to a strong and lasting partnership.”
“Pro Mujer is an innovative leader in the field of microfinance,” said Martin Sullivan, President & CEO of AIG. “We are proud to support their efforts in Argentina to package critical services like education and healthcare along with their loans to clients. We think these services can have a profound impact in helping poor entrepreneurs build businesses and support their families.”
Pro Mujer Argentina began operations in late 2005 in Salta, a northern province near the border with Bolivia, and in 2006 expanded to the nearby province of Jujuy. Today the institution serves close to 6,000 clients and approximately 30,000 children and family members.
Pro Mujer Argentina provides poor women with business loans, access to savings accounts, and intensive pre-credit training sessions, allowing clients to plan their new businesses and determine how to invest their loans. It uses repayment meetings to educate women about preventive health topics such as hygiene and nutrition, and to engage clients in discussions about women's rights, self-esteem, and domestic violence.
The institution collaborates with local health organizations to provide services at discounted rates to Pro Mujer clients, services that many women are using for the first time. For example, in one region of Salta 590 of 600 women had never been to a dentist before joining Pro Mujer. Pro Mujer Argentina has also formed alliances with a local university and other educational organizations to equip clients with computer and vocational skills such as baking, cake making, and sewing.
About Pro Mujer
Pro Mujer is an international microfinance and women's development network that offers financial services, business training and healthcare to poor women in Latin America, helping them to achieve economic security and improved health.
Established in 1990, the network comprises microfinance institutions in Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru. Since its inception, Pro Mujer has disbursed more than US$327 million in small loans averaging approximately US$189. Pro Mujer clients have saved US$12 million, providing a financial buffer for their families in times of crises. Pro Mujer is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. More information is available on the website, www.promujer.org