The Business Development Program is an integral part of Adelante’s microfinance model. Adelante has been offering its clients business advice since it began awarding its first microloans in 2000, and in 2004, the Education Program was officially established. More recently, a new methodology was developed in order to provide our clients with the business knowledge they want and need. Adelante Credit Officers provide interactive educational presentations to their assembly groups. Credit Officers at each branch office receive training on how to be effective consultants to the women that make up their assemblies. Topics are presented on illustrated poster board so that each client, including those who are illiterate, can follow along.
The new methodology includes 30 minute interactive presentations held during bi-monthly assembly meetings. The first meeting of the month introduces the topic, discussion, and tasks, while the second meeting follows-up with review, practice, and feedback. The methodology was conceived under the assumption that adults learn best by doing, so the presentations include more participation than before. The majority of subjects (75%) are related to small business education, while the remainder focuses on pre-credit themes and health topics. The Business Development & Education Department is located at the head office in La Ceiba, Atlantida, and is responsible for executing this new methodology.