In a country where free markets are discouraged, financial security is only available through allegiance to the party and its leaders.
But Cuba wasn’t always this way. Before the rise of Communism, the Cuban worker understood and embraced the free market mentality. People understood the fruits of their labors didn’t just improve their own lives, but the lives of others in surrounding communities. It can be so again. But getting there begins with education and investment in Cuba’s entrepreneurs once again
The Microcredits program from FHR Cuba aims to provide Cuban citizens with an opportunity to experience what life can be like in a society of economic independence from the government. Interested citizens can approach a local program coordinator to apply for a business loan.
These loans are given with zero interest and a flexible repayment schedule. By providing a means for starting a business, Cubans now have an incentive to chase their personal dreams and secure a better life for themselves and their family, as their average earnings will be higher than what the government currently hands out.
Interested Cuban entrepreneurs fill out a simple application, which is then submitted for review by a committee in the United States. Candidates are screened based on the following criteria:
- Reputation as a decent, ethical person that honors his/her commitments.
- Evidence of commitment to their business plan.
- A commitment to economic activism in their community (no government involvement).
- Experience in their industry area.
Once candidates are selected, FHR Cuba issues a loan between $100-$600 USD to spend on basic tools and supplies necessary to start their business.
- Each month, reports must be filed by the entrepreneur with a local coordinator, who then sends the information back to the oversight committee in the United States.
- When the loan is repaid, those funds are then recycled back into the community by using them to find another Microcredits program applicant!.
Since its inception, the Microcredits program has assisted over 70 Cubans in
starting small businesses, much to the benefit of their families and local
communities. Industries that have sprung up across the island thanks to this
program include hair salons, seamstress shops, farms (both livestock and
agricultural), florists and many more!
Every business created generates employment, provides resources to the local
community and promotes the spirit of entrepreneurship!
Number of entrepreneurs who have joined this initiative
Percentage of program participants who are female
Repayment Rate as of May 2019
HOW YOU CAN
The Microcredits program has become so popular that for now, we can only fund just a handful of applicants. With your support, we can continue to encourage and support free market initiatives throughout Cuba.