2012 marks Adelante's third year of operational self-sustainability, a significant accomplishment for any microfinance institution. From our first loan disbursals in 2000 up to December 2012, Adelante has disbursed over 77,000 loans to 57,279 clients totaling over $12.6 million. Adelante is changing the lives of Honduran women and their families, one loan at a time.
At close of 2012, total loan pool reached $1,179,168 with loans to 6,079 clients, over 99% of whom are women. Adelante loans are made from five branch offices across 9 of Honduras' 18 departments. Our high repayment rate of 97% demonstrates our continued success in effectively investing in the rural poor.
Thanks to the great support provided by Women's Empowerment, six Product Innovation Workshops were implemented during 2012 from our Intibucá branch offce. Each workshop trained approximately 24 women to develop skills including the making of organic fertilizer, pickling of vegetables and the making of crafts. Because of the tremendeous success and positive feedback provided by our clients in attendance, Adelante hopes to pursue new workshop ventures in 2013.
Our final workshop held in Intibucá during 2012 was in jewelry making and was run as a pilot project to implement a new loan product called the Always Enterprising Loan. This loan will make the workshop more self-sustainable and as a result, make it possible for Adelante to offer workshops from other branch offices as well. The success of our Jewelry Making Workshop was in part thanks to a great partnership with a local business called Cositas. 27 loans were taken out for L. 1,000 up to L. 2,400 (about $50-120) to cover the purchase of materials and other expenses incurred during the workshop.
2012 marked our first full year of offering Home Improvement Loans to our AA clients since launching the product during mid-2011. With the successful implementation of the loan the year before and the high repayment of our other loan products, we were able to invest over $70,000 in loan pool for clients wishing to improve the conditions of their homes and businesses.
The education methodology implemented during 2011 continues to evolve in order to fit the needs of our clients. Over the course of 2012, 6,746 lessons were delivered to our clients across all zones. These topics focused primarily on how to better administer their businesses in order to make a profit. Before the end of 2012, Credit Officers were already receiving training on how to better involve all clients in the educational topics to make these charlas more participatory. In preparation for future adaptations to our education program, Adelante has created 17 new educational topics that are now being incorporated into the education programming.
During 2012 we collected data from our second of three rounds of surveys for the Progress out of Poverty Index developed by Grameen USA. Adelante Credit Officers are now collecting data from all new clients as well to expand our data set in the years to come. Adelante was also selected to participate in the Social Performance Task Force as a measure of Adelante's success in fulfilling our stated mission of serving the poorest of the poor in Honduras through the provision of small loans and education to rural poor Honduran women.
Adelante has maintained its Four Diamond rating from MIX Market, the leading institution for microfinance information. MIX Market also recognized Adelante for its efforts in measuring social impact through PPI. These certificates were presented to Adelante during 2012.
By the end of 2011, total loan pool reached $1,086,801 with a total of 6250 clients (99% women) throughout Honduras benefiting from microloans. Client retention remains high at over 95%, and a repayment rate of 97% continues to prove that lending to the poor is viable.
In 2011, we revised our Individual Loan Product to meet the growing needs of our AA clients, which are those clients that have an excellent credit history with Adelante and stellar assembly meeting attendance. This modification resulted in a tremendous expansion of loan pool for this product from $27,686 disbursed to 59 clients in December 2010 to $104,962 disbursed to 169 clients in December 2011.
We launched a low-interest loan product that allows our AA clients to undertake renovations to their homes or business spaces. We have disbursed $18,858 to 28 clients since August 2011, and demand is expected to continue growing in 2012.
We developed a new education methodology to provide our clients with the small business education they want and need. Feedback from clients indicates that sales are improved through the small business education provided by our Credit Officers at bi-monthly assembly meetings.
In 2011 we did our first baseline survey, which will allow us to empirically assess the social impact of our loan products over the coming years.
Our team is stable with the lowest turnover rate in the organization’s history. General Manager Sophia Anderson affirms, ¨In my opinion, our greatest success in 2011 was to establish a well-trained and committed staff with low turnover. Everything else that we were able to accomplish was thanks to this wonderful group of highly dedicated individuals¨.