First Microfact training in Ecuador! What did we learn there about the local "cooperativismo"?
12 cooperatives of the "Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito de Acción Popular" (CAAP) in Ecuador participated from 13th to 15th of November in the Performance Evaluation workshop in Quito. This training was provided by our new trainers in Latin America: Luis Mosquera (Ecuador) and Diego Alvarez (Bolivia).
We used this occasion to talk with dr Miguel Gaibor, CEO of the CAAP, about the challenges the cooperatives face in Ecuador and their further development.
What is the interest of the CAAP in the Microfact tools?
La Cooperativa de Acción Popular (CAAP) brings together 13 savings and credit cooperatives from the rural sector. For their optimal performance and the fulfilment of their social and economic mission, CAAP provides them with training, technical assistance and financing.
Realizing this objective requires employing best management tools, such as those of Microfact. Implementation of MFI Factsheet, SPI4 (Cerise), linked with the social impact investigation of the member cooperatives in the local communities, which will be carried out in the coming months, will give them greater security and solvency in their work and in the end fulfilment of their missions.
What are the challenges the cooperatives face in Ecuador?
The most important challenge of the cooperatives in Ecuador is to respond to the trust of their members. We will achieve it only when we fulfil our economic and social mission, which is based on the cooperative principles and values. Unfortunately some of the cooperatives have moved away from them in the recent decades.
CAAP takes up this challenge and with a healthy economic and social balance aims that all its member cooperatives are solvent and financially efficient. In such a way they contribute with their services to improve the quality of life of its members and whole communities.
How do you see development of the MFIs in Ecuador?
As the number of savings and credit cooperatives in the country has multiplied exaggeratedly in the recent decades, local regulator (Superintendencia de Economía Popular y Solidaria) promotes two main trends in the market: from one point reduction of the cooperatives number through mergers and acquisitions and on the other hand: encouraging larger cooperatives with a clear financial objectives to multiply their agencies throughout the whole territory. As a result of these policies, the access to financing of the mass population from the countryside and small cities becomes increasingly difficult and financial services become unattainable.
Cooperatives which arise from the community needs, which are close and knowledgeable about their clients, will always give best financial support for the development of the communities, mainly in the rural sector. That is the goal of the CAAP!