Bright Hope World Global Microfinance Fund

Overview | The Fund | Stories


Microfinance is the provision of small loans to those who, because of the effects of poverty, cannot access mainstream finance. These loans are often essential for people to provide for their families' needs. The loans may be as small as $50 but can totally transform a life, a family or a community. The loan can restore dignity and provide a 'kick-start' to people that have an entrepreneurial streak but no pre-existing resources. Our goal is to promote economic empowerment for both the poorest of the poor, and those who, with assistance, have the capacity to contribute to their community and the economy.

And the great thing about microfinance is that the same pool of money can be lent out again and again and again!

Ugandan fish seller

The Bright Hope World Global Microfinance Fund is a pool of money that is available to create and extend microloan programmes in developing countries around the world, benefiting the poorest of the poor.

These programmes are administered by local people with strong oversight, and we typically see in excess of 90% payback on loans (which is very high for Microenterprise Funds in developing countries). Default or slow payback does sometimes occur as a result of political instability, violence or job loss, but simple failure to pay the loan is extremely rare.

Part of the reason for this is that loans are typically given to a small community group (such as a village) that is collectively responsible for the loan payback. Each member of the group supports the others to ensure that the loan is repaid so that the group is able to take out additional loans in the future. A small interest rate (around 1% per month) is usually charged, which allows the loan pool to grow over time.

Part of the challenge with these programmes in developing countries is that high inflation can often 'erode' the real value of the loan pool, and so we constantly need to increase the amount of funding available. As we increase the level of funding in our loan pool we can also increase the number of people who can access loans in a programme as well as increasing the value of loans so that participants can tackle bigger opportunities.

Loans given are in three categories:

  • Family Provision: Up to $1,000
    These loans have a family provision focus and are typically in the range of $50 - $250.
    An example of this kind of programme is the Fellowship of Believers revolving fund run by our partner Muthui Kisau in Kenya. You can read about this partnership here.

  • Ministry Self-Sustainability: $1,000 - $5,000
    These loans have a self-sustainability focus for ministry, allowing people helping others to secure an ongoing income.
    An example of this kind of programme is our partnership with a church planter in Thailand who is growing mushrooms to support his ministry, and potentially others' also. You can read about this partnership here.

  • Partnership Self-Sustainability / Income Generation: Over $5,000
    These loans have a larger project focus, often involving the creation of a new business that can support local communities, partnerships and other projects.
    An example of this kind of programme is the Friends' Fashion Centre in Pakistan which has been set up to make high quality garments, provide jobs and support the local community. You can read about this partnership here.

We are currently seeking USD200,000 to enable us to extend existing microfinance programmes and create new ones. If you would like to make a donation, please click the link to the right, or email us at

The Fund

One of the defining characteristics of most microfinance programmes around the world is the charging of high interest rates to participants. An organisation that administers a large volume of small loans incurs greater administrative costs than an organisation administering a small number of large loans.

Bright Hope World has created the Bright Hope World Global Microfinance Fund (BHWGMF) with the intention of keeping interest rates low and with all funds being retained in the loan pool, rather than being absorbed as payments to lenders or as administration costs to the lending institution. Instead, our lending partners (who are existing Bright Hope World partners) are funded separately by us for any administration costs and the overall pool steadily grows allowing more families to participate.

Donors who donate funds to the fund can have confidence that Bright Hope World will apply 100% of the funds donated microfinance programmes in the developing world to stimulate microenterprise. Donors will receive quarterly reports about the activities undertaken with the funds contained within the fund.

Due to the challenges and risks of dealing in multiple foreign currencies (in high-inflation areas) and of recalling funds from developing countries, we do not currently support loaning of funds by donors to the BHWGMF.

As the BHWGMF expands, we will add new local programmes that have the following characteristics:

  • The programme is overseen by a strong leader that is competent and can focus on the job, especially given the considerable pressure they face leading a programme.

  • The programme is small. It is best to have a number of small programmes in a community than one large one.

  • The programme requires membership of the scheme, including a membership fee. Membership increases commitment from participants.

  • There should be a savings component to the programme. Each participant should be able to start their project on their own in a small way using their own savings.

  • Each member should have their own account and record book that records savings, loans, repayments etc.

  • The programme should consist of short term loans with frequent, small repayments rather than larger infrequent repayments.

  • Interest should be no more that 1% per month.

  • The local church should be the base for the loan programme.

  • Ongoing training is an essential aspect of a successful loan programme.

We are currently seeking USD200,000 to enable us to extend existing microfinance programmes and create new ones. If you would like to make a donation, please click the link to the right, or email us at


Bright Hope World has supported many local microfinance programmes around the world, and with the help of the new Bright Hope World Global Microfinance Fund, the aim is to expand these programmes and start new ones in areas of significant need. To see all of Bright Hope World's microfinance and microenterprise partnerships, click here.

Family Provision: Up to $1,000

FOB Revolving Fund, Kenya

KiringaKiringa is a teacher at the Twin Birds Academy in Kamulu, eastern Kenya. He lives in the Ruai community and is single. Kiringa saved USD80 and joined the FOB Revolving Fund in 2006. After 11 months he got a loan of about USD1,000 and bought a piece of land. He has fully repaid the loan and is saving around USD7 per month. After paying back the first loan he then took out a second loan for USD850 to start a small business. He buys sweets and other small wholesale items in Nairobi and sells them to the retailers in his local area about 30 kms outside Nairobi. It has turned out to be a profitable small business. He has paid back the second loan now and is planning to get a third loan to boost the business by increasing the amount of stock he can purchase and potentially get further discounts because of larger orders.

The Fund has been such a great help to Kiringa that he hopes now to become fully self sufficient. Before this he had no hope of improving his standard of living as he had no security and was unable to go to a commercial bank for a loan. Kiringa intends to continue saving with the scheme and use it to expand his business.

Read more about this partnership here.

Ministry Self-Sustainability: $1,000 - $5,000

Mushroom Cultivation to Support Church Planters, Thailand

Mushroom farmMany Thai church planters are working in small villages where the new church is not able to fully support them and their families. Mushroom cultivation has proven to be an effective means of providing partial support for pastors and church planters as it does not require full-time commitment to working on the project. A pastor working on a mushroom cultivation project finds he or she has plenty of time left over for evangelism and pastoral care of new believers. The most popular type of mushroom is the straw mushroom which is highly nutritious and sells in the market for USD3 - 4/kg. There is a huge market for these mushrooms in Thailand and they can be grown all year round.

The farm costs about USD5,000 to set up and can potentially support six church planters indefinitely, allowing them to focus their primary efforts on ministry.

Read more about this partnership here.

Partnership Self-Sustainability / Income Generation: Over $5,000

Friends Fashion Centre, Pakistan

Friend's Fashion CentreLahore is the centre of the rag trade in Pakistan and Pakistan is the second largest textile and clothing export country in the world. The cotton standards in Pakistan are very high and Western buyers like Pakistan cotton.

The Friends Fashion Centre has been largely established to produce export clothing. They already have contacts outside of Pakistan, mainly in Europe, and have sent samples which have been accepted. The quality is high and the material is fine. They are producing the kind of garment people in the West would purchase, casual wear, jeans, shorts and shirts for both men and women. It's modern and well made. The styles are sent from the West and the factory will largely make orders for export.

Initially they will start with 30 sewing machines and look to make around 300 pairs of jeans per day, concentrating on quality rather than quantity. Once everything is set up well they anticipate making 1,000 pairs per day. They will start with between 60-70 employees. For the first two years they will put 60% of the profit back into the business for set-up costs etc and 40% will be kept for the establishment of other partnerships. Expansion of the operation will be funded from profits and eventually they would like to purchase land for a bigger factory in a commercial area.

Recently a large factory in the area closed down leaving around 800 qualified and experienced people unemployed. Many of them will be employed in this new venture.

Read more about this partnership here.

We are currently seeking USD200,000 to enable us to extend existing microfinance programmes and create new ones. If you would like to make a donation, please click the link to the right, or email us at

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Bright Hope World,
PO Box 8928,
New Zealand.
Phone +64 3341-0933

Bright Hope World is the operating name for Global Hope, a Charitable Trust registered in New Zealand with the Charities Commission (Charities Commission number CC36667)