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GPFF Provides Seed Grant for Social Entrepreneur Contest

Micro-Credit Loan Supports Rural Women in Paraguay

Social entrepreneur and contest winner Analia Melo in Paraguay.
Social entrepreneur and contest winner Analia Melo.

Women in rural areas in the developing world often have few prospects for earning extra money outside of the home. One entrepreneur in San Pedro, a province in Paraguay some two and a half hours from the capital of Asuncion, conceived of a novel idea to empower local women: mobile chicken roosts that can provide a healthful environment for the production of nutritious eggs, which could be sold at the local market.

Ms. Analia Melo’s proposal was submitted to a micro-credit contest sponsored by GPConnect! and funded by seed money provided by the Global Peace Festival Foundation aimed at locating and supporting social entrepreneurs in Paraguay.  In early November 2011, Analia met with GP Connect! representatives and learned that she had won the contest and secured an interest-free loan to develop her business.

Analia promoted her initiative in her community and received answers from 30 women, from which 10 were eventually chosen. The women were eager to learn how to properly raise and take care of chicks that would soon become egg-producing hens. With funds from the contest, each of the women purchased 50 chicks, and during a planning and training meeting, a veterinarian explained about proper care of the chicks.

Opportunity and local management

Analia Melo's initiative allowed each women purchased 50 chicks, that would soon become egg-producing hens, funded by GPF for Seed Grant for Social Entrepreneur Contest.
Analia Melo's initiative allowed each women purchased 50 chicks,
that would soon become egg-producing hens, funded by GPF for
Seed Grant for Social Entrepreneur Contest.

The initiative gives an opportunity for women at home to take charge of the entire process. They learn details on how to take care of birds, produce a valuable product, and bring it to the market. Each woman represents a household of approximately 3 to 5 people so the project can benefit 30 to 50 people if properly implemented.

“The project is not a sponsorship but a soft loan for social entrepreneurs for a sustainable community-based project,” says Massimo Trombin, Senior Director for Research and Development for GPConnect! “We are glad to report that Analia and the ladies involved in the project have begun the process of repaying the loan, which in itself is a testament that this project is self-sustainable. Once the loan is returned it will serve to fund other social entrepreneurs.”

Analia Melo confers with local women, and GPConnect! staff on a site visit.
Analia Melo confers with local women. Right: GPConnect! staff on a site visit.