To design and implement the Van Mujeres program, training 15,000 poor women to form savings and loan groups, and start individual and joint small business activities with support of new microfinance programs. During 2005-06, Van Mujeres will distribute ,000,000 in small business loans to poor women in Tabasco through the commitment of Governor Manuel Andrade.
Van Mujeres, an emerging network of women leaders, rural and urban technical agents, non-bank financial institutions, banks, and government agencies is dedicated to helping poor women in Tabasco to form savings groups, identify small business opportunities, and provide microfinance. Van Mujeres is the expansion of a highly successful program in Tabasco pioneered by Dr. Armando Mejia. From 2001-04, 2,000 poor women in three regions, with very minor external support, formed more than 120 savings groups (saving on average per week), developed self-reliance and social capital, created small businesses (crafts, foods, services) and productive projects raising pigs, chickens, and fish to reduce purchases from outside their communities, and began reversing a legacy of dependence on government support. Focusing on women as catalysts for sustainable local economic development is strategic. Women have proven willing to save, to work together, to invest in new productive projects, and to repay loans. Local women leaders are transforming attitudes and activities in local communities, as well as improving the conditions of the children.
In 2005, Van Mujeres was launched to build on the success of Tabasco's pilot programs, and expand to support women throughout all of Tabasco including urban areas. A target of 15,000 women was established for phase one roll-out of Van Mujeres in late 2005/early 2006. Throughout the state, 120 technical agents trained to work with women in small and large communities. Women received support to create local solidarity and savings groups, to identify productive projects, and to submit loan applications. Non-bank financial institutions are providing loans up to per woman for a loan period of 6 months to 1 year. The success of Van Mujeres is based on high loan repayments, generation of social capital, and revolving fund's ability to reach new women entrepreneurs. Review the 'model' and implementation success of Van Mujeres at www.iemtab.gob.mx/vanmujeres.