16 Now Supporting FinReg MicroFinance in Northern Mexico

In addition to supporting Cimarron and EnComun, ProMex Group is now supporting FinReg.  All three are microfinance (microcredit) organizations work to support small business development in the northern Mexican state of Sonora (bordering with the US).

We are glad to have this new relationship with FinReg, which has seven offices in different cities and continues to grow.

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14 Living on One Dollar and Liliana

I watched the movie ‘Living on One Dollar’ (which is on Netflix) this weekend.  It follows four college kids as they live on an average of $1 a day for two months in rural Guatemala. They learn first hand about the struggles with getting enough calories, parasites and other hardships.  While this shows an extreme hardship for most Americans, this is the reality for over 1.1 billion people around the world.   They try microcredit (through a microfinance institution in Guatemala) and they track the results of others in their community who take micro-loans.  They used their loan (of US$125) to start a radish farm and had great success.  They followed others who benefited greatly from loans through the microcredit organization.  At one point they commented on how the micro-lending may be one of the only options for people starting out or recovering from natural disaster.

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12 Client Profile – Teresa Garcias

Teresa Garcias runs a small grocery store (a miscellaneous store) in Nogales, Mexico.  She buys products in bulk and sells them in her neighborhood.  She has been living in Nogales for 19 years and started working with ProMex Group in 2006.  Her current loan is for US$1,000.

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11 Client Profile – Alfredo Martinez

Alfredo Martinez operates a small grocery store from a room connected to his home.  He buys products at larger stores and sells them to his neighbors in Nogales, Mexico.  He has been running this business for 4 years and has been borrowing from ProMex Group for 2 years.  His inventory and sales have dramatically increased.

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10 Client Profile – Jesus Brigido

Jesus Brigido has a bakery in Nogales, Mexico.  He is originally from Puebla but has lived in Nogales for 27 years.  He has been with ProMex Group microfinance project since 2010.  His current loan is for US$1,000.

He has two employees at his bakery and produces about 6,000 pieces of bread each week.  His bakery is part of his home.  He used his loan to buy equipment and expand his business.  He has three kids and their lives have improved greatly because of the success of his business and ProMex Group.

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9 Economic Development in Mexico to Address Illegal Immigration

Summary
The United States (US) spends billions of dollars each year to keep Mexicans and Central Americans out of our country with mixed results and this strategy only addresses a symptom of the problem.  The root of the problem is that there is a huge income and wealth disparity between neighboring countries that is not being addressed.

ProMex Group is a model of another approach to address illegal immigration.  It is a charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit microfinance organization working in the northern border cities of Mexico.  It strives to alleviate poverty and economically forced migration by providing disadvantaged Mexicans with access to capital and education to start and grow small businesses.

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8 Client Profile – Señora Martinez

Señora Martinez was interviewed at the Nogales, Mexico Expo Oct 29, 2011.  The Expo was put on by a charitable non-profit microcredit organization supported by ProMex Group.  Her business is making wedding dresses and accessories.  She has been in business for 20 years.  She borrowed 5,000 pesos (US$420) six months earlier to purchase an electric sewing machine.  The new sewing machine allows her to work faster and produce more and better quality products.

charity Mexican Socially Responsible Investing

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6 Client Profile – Señora Garcia

Maria Rosa Garcia sells new and used clothing. in Nogales, Mexico  She buys clothing  in US and resells in Mexico.  She tries to buy seasonal items that will sell well and quickly. Her goal is to turn her inventory monthly.

She has been in this business for four years.  She borrowed 2,500 pesos (about US$200) initially and now up borrows to 5,000 pesos (US$415) which is her own self imposed limit.  She is approved by EnComun (a charitable micro-finance organization supported by ProMex Group) for 10,000 pesos (US$830).  She has been very pleased with the loan process and interest rates.

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4 Client Profile – Señor & Señora Melendez

Señor & Señora Melendez have two businesses in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.  For one, they sell fresh and artificial flower arrangements.  The other is professional photography for weddings, quinceañeras, and special events.

They borrowed 10,000 pesos (about US$833), from a charitable micro-lending organization supported by ProMex Group, five months ago to start the flower arrangement business.  This gives them more stability with the two businesses.

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3 Client Profile – Señora Castro

Señora Castro borrowed  2,000 pesos (about US$165) a month ago to start a new “fast food” business.  Her loan came from a ProMex Group supported charitable micro-finance organization in Sonora, Mexico.  She used to rent a microwave oven but with her loan, purchased one.  She sells her food close to her home at a little stand.  She marks up what she sells about 40%.

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