Portfolio Partner Profile

ECLOF International

ECLOF International is a faith-based organization founded in 1946 with a mission to promote social justice and human dignity through microfinance. ECLOF primarily provides loans and technical assistance to partner microfinance institutions (MFIs) in 12 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Their partner MFIs in turn provide micro entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers with loans, savings, insurance, technical and financial training. ECLOF’s network of MFIs is one of the most rural, and nearly 1/3 of its end borrowers are smallholders. ECLOF is addressing a significant financing gap of sustainable and scalable microfinance solutions for farmers. ECLOF provides not only financing but also technical assistance to their MFIs, with aims to strengthen institutional capacity and scale their operations in a sustainable manner.

Read more about ECLOF International on our blog

Featured Impact Story

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Ezequiel encourages budding young entrepreneurs to approach ECLOF who offer a chance to motivated people and products adapted to their needs.

Impact Story

A budding young entrepreneur

Ezequiel comes from Villa Mella, a poor semi-rural district north of Santo Domingo. His mother raised the 9 children alone when their father died early. At the age of 15 Ezequiel started selling candy with a friend in his neighborhood to generate some income. Three years later he learned that ECLOF offer small startup loans together with advice on how to run a business. And unlike other financial institutions in the country, ECLOF offers this to young people like him with no credit history.

With the first 200 dollars he purchased inventory for his candy trade. He has had 7 consecutive loans from ECLOF since. He and his partner invested the money in machines for making churros (elongated sweet donuts). Profits were always reinvested to expand the business. They now run four points of sale in the city under the name "El mejor churro" and have hired four young employees. A new delivery van helps distribute supplies to the different sites. But Ezequiel doesn't stop there: next he plans to set up a "pica pollo" restaurant.

Ezequiel encourages budding young entrepreneurs to approach ECLOF who offer a chance to motivated people and products adapted to their needs. Thanks to his success Ezequiel can now support his family and the community where he was born. He is proud to have created jobs and serves as a coach for his young staff whom he keeps reminding: "Work and fight for your dreams, I am the example that where there is a will, there is a way".

Photo Courtesy of ECLOF International

Impact Story

Traditional crafts and small industries flourish

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The South-Indian town of Kanchipuram is a religious centre where traditional crafts and small industries flourish. ECLOF India serves around 1,700 women through 150 self-help groups in the area. One of those groups is called “Senthura” and it gathers mostly women who earn a living making pottery. While their products continue to find a market as favorites in rural and semi-urban kitchens, the raw material clay becomes increasingly difficult to source for the women artisans. So most of them diversify their businesses to survive. And they turn to ECLOF not only for credit but also for advice on running their business.

Mrs. Alamelu, pictured above, belongs to a women self-help group in Kanchipuram. ECLOF's financial support has enabled her to develop a pottery business and finance the education of her two sons.

Photo Courtesy of ECLOF International

Impact Story

Organic agriculture is a crucial investment

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ECLOF Philippines strongly believes that organic agriculture is a crucial investment for communities as it fosters respect for the environment, community, health and sustainable livelihoods for farmers. Moreover, local consumers trust in healthier organic food and are willing to pay a premium.

But for farmers, the decision to go organic requires determination, sufficient capital, and a lot of new theoretical and practical knowledge. This is why they created the ECLOF Nature and Organic Farm (ENOF) training centre in the province of Palawan in 2014. The centre has become a pole of learning, research, and pooling of knowledge and techniques on organic farming where practitioners train and are able to experience organic farming hands-on. Since the centre’s establishment, there have been at least six training courses conducted with a minimum of 300 farmers every year.

2020, however, has been the most challenging time of all. In the Philippines, every city and municipality has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns or community quarantines were put in place. ENOF trainings and gatherings became a challenge. Only few trainings with small groups of farmers were conducted. ENOF took this as an opportunity to continuously develop the farm. ENOF opened new areas for mass production of high value vegetables, renovated the nursery area and the irrigation system, and constructed vermiculture and green house facilities.

In August 2020, ENOF was awarded an organic certification from the Organic Certification Centre of the Philippines (OCCP) for a third consecutive year. As the prime certification body in the country, accredited by the Ministry of Agriculture and associated with international certification bodies, the OCCP is responsible for ensuring that organic farming procedures and practices comply with standards. This token of national recognition of ECLOF’s work has boosted the centre’s credibility and popularity, both in terms of training and its own organic production. ENOF was also accredited by the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) as an official learning site to host student-farmers for the practical part of their training, on-the-job trainings for ATI’s scholars, and field visits.

The centre sells its certified organic products on local markets and shops. Not only does this finance its operation and expansion but it also builds reputation and regional outreach. In fact, ENOF was appointed by the Regional Organic Congress to represent the private sector in the organic congress. Moreover, the centre’s trainer, Mr. Primo Suza, was named “Outstanding Organic Farmer of the Year 2020”. These recognitions confirm the public support in ECLOF as they invest in organic farming and in the promotion of healthy, safe and sustainable agriculture.

Photo Courtesy of ECLOF International


Impact Stories

ECLOF Kenya and Colombia support organic farmers and entrepreneurs

ECLOF offers credit and related financial services to farmers and micro entrepreneurs. ECLOF also builds the capacity of its clients in fields like financial literacy, organic farming, handicraft or business & entrepreneurship. ECLOF disseminates the training directly to clients, through the solidarity groups that clients organize in and through own and client-operated demonstration farms

Learn more about the variety of ECLOF Kenya and ECLOF Colombia's work in the additional vignettes below.


A client of ECLOF Colombia cultivating lettuce in an environmentally friendly way

ECLOF COLOMBIA-AT HUERTAS CASERAS Photo courtesy ECLOF Colombia.


ECLOF Kenya supports entrepreneurs throughout the pandemic

ECLOF Kenya cooking Clients of ECLOF Kenya. Learn more in our Borrower Spotlight. Photo credit to F. Ochieng, Cultural Video, Kenya.


A client of ECLOF Colombia feeding his cows self-made organic feed

ECLOF COLOMBIA-AT BLOQUES NUTRICIONALES Photo courtesy ECLOF Colombia.


ECLOF Kenya finances agricultural entrepreneurs

ECLOF Kenya farming Client of ECLOF Kenya. Learn more in our Borrower Spotlight. Photo credit to F. Ochieng, Cultural Video, Kenya.

Return to Portfolio:

Sectors and Topics:

Microfinance
Sustainable Agriculture
Gender Equity

Region(s):

Central America & Caribbean, East Asia & Pacific, South America, Sub-Saharan Africa

Countries:

Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Myanmar, Philippines, Armenia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda

US States:

N/A

First Year of Investment:

2018

Website:

https://www.eclof.org

Social Media:

Facebook Page