SELF-FUNDED COMMUNITIES TO FIGHT FINANCIAL INCLUSION
THE HUMAN IMPACT: Refugees and new migrants are often excluded from the financial structures that allow them to start and grow businesses and rise from poverty. Outside the networks that drive hiring in local labor markets, migrants have often turned to entrepreneurial ventures to support themselves, but lack financing, lines of credit, and network. Poorer people – equipped with the right tools – can solve almost all their everyday problems in spite of their harsh life circumstances.
THE NUMBERS IMPACT: ACAF is expanding their proven and efficient methodology throughout Spain and to other European countries with low income and migrant population. ACAF has expanded to 8 different cities in Spain and to Senegal, Portugal, Italy, Holland, Hungary, Germany and Belgium, as well as creating a free online platform to allow anyone around the world access to their methodology and create a worldwide network of self-funded communities.
HOW DOES IT WORK? ACAF is a cooperative organization with the goal of fighting financial and social exclusion by creating and supporting self-financing communities. ACAF works with self-sustaining financial groups led by immigrants in order to promote networking and support their basic financial needs. These communities are small groups in which the partners – normally between 10 and 30 people – can participate with small contributions. The money collected is used to provide the members with small loans with which they can cover their day-to-day expenses and even finance small businesses. In the process, deep relationships are created that contribute to building much needed personal and professional networks.
WHO STARTED IT? Abdoulaye Fall is the Project Manager for the ACAF. With a Masters in Immigration Management from the University Pompeu Fabra and a Doctorate in Demography at the UAB Centre for Demographic Studies, he combines his responsibility at ACAF, creating savings groups, training and assessing them, with tracking and organizating training activities in the field of micro finance and community organization.
HOW HELLO EUROPE IS HELPING: Hello Europe has helped Winkomun scale its initiative to the German context in partnership with Saving Buddies, that adapted the model to the German context, setting up initial savings and investment groups, as well as starting to cooperate with other migrant organizations and univerisities to study the impact. In other countries Hello Europe is helping Winkomun to connect to local partners and, globally, to develop a digital platform that would enable Winkomun to scale further.
WHAT THEY NEED NOW: With its large migrant population across the continent, Europe is ripe for implementing a mo¬del that has proven itself effective while at the same time promo¬ting social cohesion. Winkomun is looking for financial and digital development partner to finalize a powerful global platform that can make their methodology, networks and other tools available to communities all around the world.