Honduras is the third poorest country in Latin America (after Haiti and Nicaragua), and has a population of eight million people. Incredibly, 60% of its population live below the poverty line and are unable to meet their basic needs due to lack of formal employment. There are approximately 500,000 Hondurans who have been driven by need to start small informal businesses from home or on the streets in order to generate income to provide for their families. With studies showing that 70% of Honduran small and medium enterprises have never received credit there is a clear need to provide capital to thousands of entrepreneurs in Honduras.
Opportunity International’s partner in Honduras, locally known as Instituto Para el Desarrollo Hondureno (IDH), has been working as a microfinance not-for-profit organization for over 40 years serving poor entrepreneurs with loans and training in provinces throughout the country. Opportunity International Canada has a longstanding partnership with IDH dating back to 1999.
IDH is in the process of ‘scaling up’ from an NGO to a regulated financial institution. This new legal status, will enable them to continue to offer loan funds and will enhance their financial products offerings and provide opportunity for clients to open interest-bearing savings accounts. Another feature benefit: being able to offer banking services such as remittances.
IDH’s current expansion plans include building the seed loan portfolio for the Santa Barbara Branch, funding a new branch in Comayagua, and opening the next branch in San Pedro Sula.
Over the next three years, IDH’s growth goals include serving over 15,000 clients with loans, savings and training.