Program Related Investing – Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
Global Bridge Foundation is looking for opportunities to reach out to people in third world countries who are not currently being served through microfinance or small and medium business enterprises. They are not being served because they often don’t have the business plan, track record or skill sets to qualify for funding from traditional sources.
We are looking for opportunities where there is a reasonably good chance of business sustainability. Priority is given to projects that focus on agriculture, medical support, water or improved shelter. In general, poverty alleviation will also qualify. In all cases, Global Bridge will participate in the creative aspect of how best to use the financing to create the most impact and benefit.
Most of our targeted groups are living in or adjacent to microfinance communities which already have had proven success. Some of the groups may be graduates of the microfinance world where success can lead to a momentum and expansion of the path they’ve already been on. We partner/network with as many organizations in this space as possible to maximize the benefits to all.
In our newest initiative we are looking for five projects that are approximately $100,000 each to be invested in a Program Related format (PRI). (See how a PRI operates here.) Projects may be micro, small or medium businesses or enterprises. Depending on circumstance we may bring in an expert to consult on best practices or provide grant writing or business expertise.
For example, consultants may advise on how to plant soybeans, create a shelter, or offer pharmaceutical knowledge. In some cases we would provide the training, depending on the stage each enterprise is in; or, we may pay for the infrastructure to start or grow the business.
The ideal term of our PRI would be five to seven years where capital would be returned and a rate of one to two percent per annum may be earned. In some cases, the PRI may carry no rate of return. With this program, Global Bridge can demonstrate that these projects create a beneficial service while the funding organization receives a small financial return where possible.
Collaboration, Collaborative Grants and other Support
From time to time Global Bridge will support a project directly on a one-time or ongoing basis. The support may be financial, collaborative and or the provision of consultants or grant writers. The project must be related to the Global Bridge Mission. Recent examples of this involve Women for Women International, Heifer International, Unitus, International Medical Corps and more.
In addition, on occasion we will offer grants on a one time basis for projects that appear to be especially worthy of support and fall within our Mission.