SOCIAL MICROFINANCING PROGRAM
Learning Squared Liberia’s social microfinance program is designed to empower women by providing them with the necessary skills and resources to start and grow their own businesses. By establishing village loan structures managed by women entrepreneurs, the program aims to create a sustainable system that can help alleviate poverty and increase income levels, not only for individual participants but also for their families and communities.
Empowering Rural Women
The program's training course covers topics such as business and money management skills, which are essential for running a successful business. By providing these skills, Learning Squared Liberia is enabling women to take control of their financial futures and become more self-sufficient. Additionally, the program's focus on building support systems within communities helps to create a network of like-minded individuals who can provide encouragement and advice as participants navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship. One key aspect of the program is the revolving interest-free microloan that participants can access. This loan provides a crucial source of capital for women who may not have access to traditional lending institutions. By offering interest-free loans, we are removing one of the biggest barriers to entrepreneurship for women in rural communities.
We recruit a group of 15-25 women from rural communities after undergoing a 4-day training course. Then facilitate and monitor their microloans that start at $50 during a 12–18-week program that includes relevant business and money management skills. During those 12-18 weeks, our participants build support systems in their communities and with Learning Squared Liberia team members by meeting once a week. More than 80% of our beneficiaries are women who are already small-scale business owners, such as petty traders, smallholder farmers, food processors, local transporters, artisans, and single mothers.
Local partners and former participants network to organize a group of 15-20 women living in rural communities. They begin their 4-day program that includes lessons in business management, leadership, governance, record-keeping, and other business skills that can help them overcome financial challenges and ensure their business' success. Our primary target group is entrepreneurial women living in rural communities. (petty traders, smallholder farmers, food processors, local transporters, artisans, and single mothers), mainly women and girls. Women in on-farm and off-farm activities. The Social Microfinance program has become our priority since its success has driven the most impact. Learning Squared team members and proprietary training materials lead our participant's journey. While the program has elements that do not change, some aspects are modified to fit the community's needs.
As of March 2023, Learning Squared has issued over 500 loans to women in more than 500 villages. Learning Squared Liberia has developed a unique community economic model to transition women into established village loan entrepreneurs within 12 or 24 months. Loan funds are recycled so that the program becomes self-sustaining. Our grassroots approach instantly creates community structure and financial autonomy. Our program is considered one of the most promising concepts to lift women out of community poverty. The structural format is 100% self-sufficient. Learning Squared Liberia and its local partners have built a network of entrepreneurs. In the last four years (2019-2023). We have supported over 500 women in five counties reaching over 15,000 indirect beneficiaries in the project areas. Our loan recovery rate is approximately 98%. We estimate that in addition to the borrower, each loan impacts at least 15-25 community members, including nuclear and extended family members.