Earth's Choice & IWCA
The International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) and Earth’s Choice Women of Coffee Microfinance Fund (Earth's Choice) have joined forces to form a powerful platform that will connect women entrepreneurs in the coffee industry to financing. Utilizing the IWCA network of chapters, Earth’s Choice will expand access to its financing system based on the proven Grameen Bank microfinance methodology. Improved access to capital will bring critical stability to women, their families and communities as these female entrepreneurs build profitable and sustainable businesses. Earth’s Choice reports that women who have participated in its programs demonstrate an increase in their incomes. This allows them to gain better access to healthcare and education, providing healthier diets for their children while maintaining their valuable coffee forests.
In March 2015 Earth's Choice staff traveled to El Salvador to sign an MOU to establish a Women of Coffee Microfinance program with the IWCA El Salvador Chapter "Alianza de Mujeres en Café de El Salvador" (AMCES). Together Earth Choice and AMCES will partner with local banks, Rotary Clubs and health organizations to create an integrated approach to increase coffee women's access to financial services and technologies by providing microloans, financial literacy training, small scale roasting and solar technology and health care.
Earth’s Choice fund gets to the heart of poverty by providing a creative and sustainable approach to economic equality and community-owned development. Earth’s Choice has customized the proven "Grameen Bank” microfinance methodology specifically for women-owned businesses. By connecting directly to women coffee producers through their local cooperatives and community businesses, Earth’s Choice provides seed money for affordable revolving loans that become self-sustaining over time. The loan fund allows women to start and expand small businesses related to farming and trade in their communities.