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Fonkoze's Impact In Combatting Global Poverty

Is Recognized As "Particularly Successful"

...One of the most effective aid organizations in Haiti is Fonkoze (, which has adopted a “graduation model” that has been particularly successful at combating global poverty.

Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times, December 2016


    Solidarity Loans That Support The Ultra Poor


Women Graduates From Adult Education Classes


Lifted Income Via CLM   

Ultra Poverty Program


Healthcare Recipients.   

To Reach 2 Million By '20


       Savings Account


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  Business Development                   Clients

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Fonkoze's Mission

To provide the financial and development services to empower Haitians - primarily women - to lift

their families out of poverty. 

The Staircase Out Of Poverty

provides a proven methodology.

Staircase Out of Poverty

The Staircase Out Of Poverty consists of the following four services:

Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM)

Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM), or “the pathway to a better life,” empowers Haiti’s poorest women

to lift themselves and their families out of ultra poverty, with hope and vision for their futures. '

Ti Kredi ("Little Credit")

Ti Kredi (“Little Credit”) is Fonkoze’s three-month microfinance program.

It provides some of Haiti’s most vulnerable women with business skills training, mentoring,

and weekly life skills education to enable them to become successful microentrepreneurs. 


Solidarity lending is Fonkoze’s core microfinance program. It provides loans to groups of five women

(called a Solidarity group), creating a built-in system of accountability and support. Beginning at $45

and increasing to over $850, Solidarity loans enable women who have already established themselves

as micro-entrepreneurs to expand their businesses. 

Business Development

At the top of Fonkoze’s Staircase Out of Poverty is our Business Development program.

With 12-month loans beginning at $1,300, Business Development clients use their increased loan capital and longer loan cycles to create thriving businesses. The Business Development program provides opportunities for Solidarity clients to move up the Staircase and expand their businesses.  

The "Handrails"

In addition to our microfinance programs, Fonkoze provides Education and Health services, and

Business Skills Training which serve as Handrails to support clients along their climb up the Staircase Out of Poverty.

Fonkoze Has Provided A Tremendous Amount Of Support To The Rural Poor

The Fonkoze Family consists of:

Sevis Finansye Fonkoze (“SFF”): the bank for the poor that provides loans and other financial services primarily to poor women in rural Haiti

Fondayson Kole Zepol (the “Foundation”):  a non-profit Haitian organization that provides help for the ultra poor (too poor to assume an SFF loan), health care services, educational, literacy and business development services

Fonkoze USA: provides information to the large community of international supporters of Fonkoze as well as fundraising in America and other countries.

Fonkoze is Haiti’s largest micro-finance institution

with 45 branches, 1,000 Haitian employees, 200,000 depositors, 62,350 active loans           in the hands of the poor and millions in assets.

In fiscal year 2016 (ending September 30, 2016), Sèvis Finansye Fonkoze (SFF), S.A. (Fonkoze Financial Services) worked to achieve its double bottom line:

1.) lifting families and communities out of poverty
2.) while operating in a financially self-sustaining manner.

SFF offers micro and small business loans, savings products, international and domestic money transfer services, currency exchange services and payroll services, among others. 


With over 62,350 active loan clients (99% women) and average loans ranging in size from US$45 to US $240, SFF reaches among the poorest women in Haiti.  Other vital statistics:

$11.5 million loan portfolio

$29.5 million disbursed

125,634 loans disbursed


Fonkoze Financial Services’ clients range from individuals who have never had a savings account before to formal businesses, schools, churches and NGOs. Vital statistics:

208,664 savings clients

$21.4 million in savings

3,464 daily transactions


In addition to its savings and loans services, SFF processes nearly $70 million in remittances every year -- providing an economic lifeline for hundreds of thousands of people across Haiti.  Vital statistics:

$69.7 million in transfers

277,525 transactions


Both US Dollars (USD) and Haitian Gourdes (HTG) are accepted and used widely in Haiti. Fonkoze Financial Services provides valuable currency exchange services for its clients. 

Vital statistics:

$78.6 million in total transactions


Fonkoze Financial Services supports organizations — including those based overseas — to complete regular payroll cycles. For example, a charitable institution in the United States that sponsors a school in Haiti will send a lump sum to Fonkoze Financial Services that is deposited directly in their employees’ savings accounts. In fiscal year 2016, Fonkoze Financial Services provided payroll services to about 30 such organizations.

Value Chain Development

In order for Fonkoze to help advance Haiti’s economy through small and growing enterprises,

we know that there are some core economic sectors that need extra support. Fonkoze seeks to take a value chain approach to supporting these sectors, meaning that we look at them in a holistic way—from the individuals producing raw materials to the businesses selling products in domestic and foreign markets.

This is but one of the Handrails Fonkoze Provides; the others include

CLM Case Managers, Business Skills Training, Health Programs and Educational Services.

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Business Development Impact


Average loan amount in FY2016.

$3.5 M

Total amount of loans disbursed in '16


Number of active Business Development clients as of FY2016.

Solidarity Impact


of our clients are able to send all of their children to school after 5 years in Solidarity.


of our clients own small assets (versus 68%) after 5 years in Solidarity.


Average savings amount per client (versus $7) after 5 years in Solidarity.


Active Solidarity clients as of '16.

Inclusion Impact


Number of women who graduated from our Adult Education classes since 2000.


Number of women who graduated '16.


The graduation success rate in 2016.


Successfully passed our literacy class

Community Health


The number of households served by our Boutik Sante (community health store) program in 2016.


The number of women screened for cervical cancer


The number of Boutik Sante patron beneficiaries as of December 2016.


The number of children screened for malnutrition

CLM Ultra Poverty Impact


The number of households participating in CLM since 2007.


Total number of families reached in 2016.


The graduation success rate in 2016.


Number of new families who joined CLM in 2016


Fonkoze’s CLM program employs specially trained case managers to work with CLM members throughout an intensive 18-month process to help them build sustainable livelihoods with the  confidence and skills necessary to create a better life for themselves and their families.


CLM provides each member with the productive assets – such as livestock or a commerce inventory – needed to start two income generating activities.  All CLM members also receive  the materials to construct a 9×9 meter home with a sturdy roof, a stable floor, and a latrine; and a

water filter.


Each member also receives a small cash stipend while her fledgling business grows and free healthcare in partnership with Zanmi Lasante, Partners in Health’s Haitian sister organization.


But the CLM case managers remain at the heart of the program. Case managers make weekly visits to every member, which often require overnight stays and hours-long hikes to reach women in Haiti’s most remote locations.


During their visits, CLM case managers provide each member with confidence-building, enterprise management, and life skills training. They also help each woman to successfully navigate the unique challenges she encounters throughout the process and to build a plan for her future as she moves forward. In turn, the women provide the hard work, determination and resilience to succeed.

Business Skills Training

To create confident, successful members and clients, Fonkoze offers Business Skills Training tailored to each of the first three Steps on our Staircase Out of Poverty. This instruction teaches members the fundamentals of small business management, enabling them to be competitive and make sound financial decisions.


At the beginning of Fonkoze’s first Step, our Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM) program, new members participate in a six-day enterprise training workshop, during which they prepare to manage the assets provided to them by CLM. Every three months afterwards, they participate in four-day review sessions to hone their new skills.

The core of their training, however, takes place during one-on-one weekly meetings with their case managers. Over the course of the 18-month CLM program, they review their business decisions with their case managers and learn to plan strategically, using their newfound financial security to think beyond how they will find their next meal. By the program’s end, CLM members have the skills to act as confident small businesswomen.


Prior to starting Step two, the Ti Kredi program, new Ti Kredi clients participate in a four-week training course that introduces them to microfinance, Fonkoze’s lending program, and basic financial and business management concepts. The course prepares new clients to receive their first microloans, and Ti Kredi credit agents continue to build on their skills during weekly meetings throughout the six-month program. After completing the program, many  Ti Kredi clients continue into Solidarity Lending.


 Fonkoze offers the opportunity for Solidarity  clients to participate in Business Skills, a three-month class taught by fellow clients who have been trained and certified by a Fonkoze Education agent.

The Business Skills class enables them to increase their profits and manage their businesses more successfully.


Health Programs

Boutik Sante (community health store)

Boutik Sante is Fonkoze’s innovative program bringing health products, services, and education to rural Haiti -- while introducing a new business opportunity to its nationwide network of microfinance clients.

As a social enterprise, the beauty of Boutik Sante is not only its impact on health outcomes but also that it will be self-sustaining by 2021, no longer requiring further investment.


Seventy-five percent of Haitians lack access to health products and services, particularly those living in rural and hard-to-reach areas. When available, medicines are prohibitively expensive, at three times the international market rate, and frequently of poor quality.


Accordingly, many Haitians only seek care and treatment when illnesses reach crisis-level. By then, an illness that may have been treated or avoided with a simple, over-the-counter medicine, has reached an acute and occasionally irreversible stage.


Community Health Training: Boutik Sante


Although the provision of many health services requires highly trained professionals, there is consensus that the delivery of a number of basic, essential health services can be shifted to community members who receive rapid, skills-based training with close supervision. Boutik Sante trains leaders in Fonkoze’s microfinance client network to become Community Health Entrepreneurs (CHEs).


A 2014 pilot program proved Boutik Sante to be both clinically effective -- improving health outcomes and increasing the use of health goods among 4,500 beneficiaries—and financially sustainable, with 20% profit margins for 69 CHEs within six months of operating. New to Haiti, this innovation draws on successful similar models that are being implemented worldwide.


In 2015, Boutik Sante launched its five-year scaling phase, supported by Healthy Entrepreneurs, its supply chain partner. Fonkoze is also working with the Haiti Ministry of Health to coordinate patient referrals.

By the end of 2016, Boutik Sante had 520 active CHEs. These CHEs have sold products and/or offered services to 122,221 individuals. If we consider an average household size of five, we can estimate that 611,105 individuals have had improved access to health products and/or services.


By 2020, Boutik Sante will have trained 1,800 CHEs, reaching over two million individuals in rural Haiti. One of the key aspects of this model is that, after initial start-up costs, sales of products and services will enable the program to be fully sustainable and perpetuated by the market itself.


Number of Patron Beneficiaries: 122,221 (as of December 2016).


Fonkoze has collaborated with researchers from Columbia University to monitor the program rollout to assess impacts on health outcomes. The primary success indicator will be the proportion of children under five years of age with morbidity due to diarrhea, fever and/or acute respiratory infection with a target of a 20% reduction. 

Education Services

We believe that Adult Education and Training services are vital to our members’ success. Educational accompaniment is an integral program component of the first two Steps of Fonkoze’s Staircase Out of Poverty, Chemen Lavi Miyò and Ti Kredi.


But even Solidarity members are often lacking basic education. About 20% of women who enter the Solidarity program are illiterate.


They not only lack the ability to read and write, but also other skills that they might have gained in the classroom. These include numeracy and financial acumen, business management, leadership and decision-making skills. This impacts their ability to develop sustainable livelihoods and to recover from  shocks such as natural disasters, conflict and climactic variability.

Since 2000, over 132,000 clients have graduated from our Adult Education classes. Over the years, Fonkoze has developed and taught members to read and write; to better manage their business; to protect the rights of their children; to advocate for their own rights as women; and to understand how to protect the environment and prepare for disaster.

These women become leaders and agents of change in the communities in which they live. They also become much better at managing their business and thus can better provide for their families.

Combined with Fonkoze’s microcredit lending, the education program strengthens the capacity of Haitian market women to break the cycle of poverty and improve their lives and those of their children.


Fonkoze’s women’s education program offers three classes to our clients: Ti Koze (Little Chat, a monthly life skills and business skills class that engages participants in discussion and interaction), Alfa Bon (Basic Literacy), and Jesyon Biznis (Business Skills).

All three courses rely on the peer education philosophy of Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire. In coordination with Fonkoze’s microfinance branch offices (of which there are 45 throughout Haiti), the education team reaches clients through Fonkoze’s network of Centers and “Solidarity Groups.”