Global Partnerships (GP)
Founded in 1994, Global Partnerships (GP) is a nonprofit social investor based in Seattle, Washington, and Managua, Nicaragua, whose mission is to expand opportunity for people living in poverty. They invest in exceptional microfinance organizations and cooperatives, their partners, which serve hundreds of thousands of people in need with microloans, basic health care, training and other life-changing services to help them earn a living and improve their lives.
Their strategy has evolved since 1994, when they were founded to support microfinance work in Central America. Recognizing that impoverished people face multiple challenges beyond access to credit, Global Partnerships prioritizes partners that provide a holistic package of not just loans but other essential goods and services. Microcredit, they believe, is more effective when combined with services like:
financial education and job skills training to help entrepreneurs make the most of their loans
health services and education that empower women to make health a priority
technical assistance to help small-scale farmers boost their income
At the end of their last fiscal year, GP had more than $36 million invested in 30 partners in seven countries, positively affecting the lives of more than 250,000 people and advancing business models to serve millions of people in the future.
Their work is fueled by mission-aligned donors and investors who share their vision. Everything they do is intended to make the best possible use of their resources.
Global Partnerships expands opportunity for people living in poverty by investing affordable capital in innovative, mission-driven microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Latin America.
Their approach is unique:
They invest for social and financial returns
Global Partnerships raises affordable capital from socially motivated investors that is loaned to their MFI partners. Their microfinance investment funds are debt funds that leverage philanthropic dollars to raise resources from socially motivated individual and institutional investors. This strategy has helped them reach more people living in poverty while providing social and financial returns for investors.
They focus on impact
In an era when commercial capital tends to flow to the most profitable microfinance institutions (MFIs), rather than those reaching the most vulnerable people with the highest-impact solutions, Global Partnerships provides capital to socially-motivated microfinance partners that achieve exceptional levels of social impact, using a sustainable business model. Social impact means a focus on:
Inclusion: Reaching underserved markets, such as women and the rural poor
Innovation: Combining microcredit with other services that help people improve not just their livelihoods, but their lives
Reinvesting profits in programs to become more inclusive or more innovative
They add value with leadership and innovation
Global Partnerships recognizes that a strategic challenge facing the microfinance industry is the need to develop and expand sustainable solutions—including and beyond microcredit— that address multiple facets of poverty. They are exploring ways to extend the reach of microfinance to provide other services— such as health education, business training, and agricultural assistance— to help people in poverty meet basic needs beyond microfinance. For example, in partnership with health nonprofit PATH and GP microfinance partner Pro Mujer, they are developing a model for expanding access to low-cost health solutions that are financially sustainable over the long term.See more