WHI Launches New Micro-Loan Project!

AUSTIN, TEXAS (4-20-08)
While many Malawians, especially women, face exceedingly high unemployment rates, the entrepreneurial spirit in this peaceful democracy
is strong. Consequently, an investment of as little as $100-200 can allow women in Malawi to leverage successful small businesses that benefit
their families as well as their communities. An amount of $200, for instance, will enable one person to start a tailoring business or raise 100
broiler chickens.

Microloan projects have been established throughout the developing world, and are acknowledged as sound investments in future economic
development.

The Warm Heart International (WHI) program, however, has a slight twist. In the model originally established in the summer of 2007, microloan
funds are supplied by WHI donors, which in turn funnels the funds through the Diocese of Southern Malawi and ultimately to the entrepreneur. The loans are repaid to the Diocesan program, which uses these funds and the associated interest to generate additional microloans. The original donor, meanwhile, while not receiving repayment, does receive tax incentives available for donations to a 501(c)3 corporation.

The initial effort, as proposed by Mrs. Josie Tengatenga of the Diocese of Southern Malawi, calls for $5000 seed money and would make the initial loans to women who are members of the Diocesan Order of the
Daughters of the King. Each borrower will be required to submit a simple business plan which would detail their expenses and profits. The program will have a peer committee that will assess the requests and make
recommendations to the Diocesan office, and a part-time employee to perform necessary bookkeeping functions. A mechanism will be established through the Diocesan office to ensure the accountability of the borrower, and processes will be put in place to:

-- Track progress
-- Establish benchmarks for measuring success
-- Provide guidance to business owners (borrowers) who appear to be struggling, enhancing the likelihood of success.

In addition, the program will include an education and support component that brings funded entrepreneurs together to learn about sound business practices such as marketing, accounting, and tax compliance.
For more information contact Amy Case at <amypcase@austin.rr.com> or call 512-565-1687 or Debbie Daigle at <Deborah.Daigle@HCAhealthcare.com> or call 512-936-718-1287.