Business

Boston Community Capital is a financial institution dedicated to defeating poverty. About 2/3 of BBC’s housing lending benefits low-income women.The firm  has invested more than $900 million in low-income community development and social entrepreneurship in Massachusetts and nationally, helped build childcare centers, domestic violence shelters and Head Start facilities. Elyse Cherry, CEO, is one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. Learn more

Aid to Artisans offers practical assistance to artisans worldwide, partnering to foster artistic traditions, cultural vitality and community well being through training and collaboration in product development, production and marketing.

FINCA (Foundation for International Community Assistance) has, since 1984, established village banks in 22 countries on 5 continents so low-income women entrepreneurs can get micro-loans.

Friendship Bridge operates microcredit and education programs for women in Guatemala and distributes scholarships to borrowers’ children for school tuition and supplies. The organization offers trips so donors can observe their projects.

Global Partnerships Microenterprise Funds links individuals and businesses with programs in Latin America, providing credit and other tools to help people attain economic self-sufficiency. They offer Partner Trips for potential donors.

Microplace. Tracy Pettengill Turner, founded Microplace because she was inspired by the working poor and dedicated to fighting global poverty. Their organization (now a subsidiary of Paypal) lets you invest online in the international institutions that make microloans. Unlike most microloan programs, your investment with Microplace earns interest. Learn more>

Shared Interest. Donna Katzin, Executive Director, takes photos and writes poetry for fun. But her heart (and her nonprofit micro-credit business) is in South Africa. Shared Interest borrows from US individuals and organizations, invests in securities that comply with socially responsible investment guidelines, pools the assets in a US bank account thatís used to secures letters of credit for South African Banks to make loans to low income people in South Africanís most marginalized rural, township and urban areas.

Read Global. When Antonia Neubauer traveled to Nepal in 1983, she asked her guide what his village needed most. Answer: a library so people could access education, technology and vocational training. Today the NGO she founded, Read Global, runs 60 Community Library and Resource Centers in Nepal, India and Bhutan that helps local people start sustainable, for-profit enterprises that meet real needs. What goes around comes around: those businesses help pay the librariesí operating costs.

Zimbabwe Artists Project is a nonprofit that markets art made by rural women in Weya Zimbabwe. ZAP helped the artists start a cooperative, assists with bookkeeping, transports artists and supplies.