The heart of a microcredit loan program is the small business loan of $50 - $500 to enable a poor woman or man to become self-sufficient. Sustainability is the goal. The dream of the “ti marchand” (small business merchant) or the poor farmer is to send their children to school, give them three meals a day and perhaps, put a tin roof on their home to protect them from the rain.
But, occasionally after successfully paying back three, four or more loans and building their small businesses or homesteads, these merchants or farmers are ready to employ others and build a store, or buy a farm (instead of being a tenant farmer) or build a sugar cane grinding facility to produce the sugar cane syrup so prized in Port au Prince. For these projects a large business loan is necessary, and MICAPPI has tested the waters in the last 5 years by giving two of these large loans; one for a corn grinder for $10,000 and one for a goat farm for $6,350. Each loan is amortized and given for 10 years as with the oxen loans. They infuse money into the economy, provide employment for others and serve the community, by providing a local grinding facility for the farmers and goats, the favorite lean and nutritious meat of rural Haiti.
Large business loans, judiciously awarded, build prosperity in a community from the ground up. They require that the skills to run these businesses have first been acquired through experience and education over time.