Since 1988, Anhart has funded more than 500 initiatives of grassroots organizations in East Africa and Haiti, through a program called Sustainable Villages, which has its own website here. The program provides capital grants and pay-forward business loans for projects that improve the health, education and well-being of communities.
Here’s how Sustainable Villages empowers entrepreneurs to carry out their plans to build small businesses, maternity clinics and schools.
Anhart works with these local groups, which are deeply embedded in African history and culture. They are similar to non-profits, but usually formed by a group of neighbours. In the absence of many government services for health, education and social security, the members of a CBO can only rely on each other. They pool resources and share skills to do farming or another small business.
When we are choosing to partner with a group, we consider the following factors:
Anhart relies on Africa-based regional leaders, all of whom have successfully founded and operated CBOs, completed projects, and mentored other groups. These leaders are instrumental in helping other groups organize, selecting projects for funding, and monitoring projects.
The first step in the partnership is for the group to organize and incorporate. Anhart provides a $300 start-up grant to cover the following expenses:
Once registered, a CBO can apply for an interest and security-free loan for a small business project, usually to a maximum of $2,500. Projects have included chicken or goat raising, maize or bean farming, tailoring shops, internet cafes, pharmacies and day cares. Anhart regional leaders vet proposals and recommend projects for funding.
The applicant must meet the following requirements:
These larger-scale farms have been purchased through a partnership between Anhart and a local regional leader. There are currently four: Uganda; Tanzania; Goma and Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo. These businesses were established to generate profits that support local community groups and to serve as regional learning centres. Read about ENP Uganda here.
Anhart provides capital funding for health clinics in areas where women do not have access to medical services. Anhart has funded six clinics in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the government staffs and operates the facility once it is built.
Anhart provides capital funding for schools in areas where children have no access to education. School-building projects, like maternity clinics, are spearheaded by regional leaders who are part of the local culture. Two elementary schools have been built near Goma, DRC.
Anhart chooses to fund maternity clinics and schools based on the following criteria:
Sustainable Villages is a program of Anhart Community Housing Society, a Canadian registered charity, and is funded through private donation. To support social entrepreneurs building small business, maternity clinics and schools, please click here