Pro Mujer

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Recognized as a top International Microfinance nonprofit in the following years:
Medal-big-2009
Medal-big-2012
20 Thumbsup 2 Thumbsdown   Info-sm
"Up" is the number of experts who agree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in the field. "Down" is the number of experts who disagree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in field.
Pro-mujer
Headquarters Location: New York, NY
Founded: 1990


Mission: Pro Mujer is an international women’s development and microfinance organization whose mission is to provide Latin America’s poor women with the means to build livelihoods for themselves and futures for their families through microfinance, business training, and healthcare support.
Pro Mujer fights poverty by establishing sustainable microfinance organizations that provide an integrated package of financial and human development services that women require to build and improve their small businesses.
Pro Mujer supports the health of its clients and their families and helps women build their self-esteem. The organization also links women and their families with existing resources and services in their communities.



Tags: 2012, international, microfinance, women, latin america, financial services


Pro-mujer
Story: Eight years ago, Maria and her husband were struggling to support their family in León, Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Americas after Haiti, where 48% of the population lives below the poverty line. To help make ends meet,… Read the full story.

Expert Reviews: Evidence of Impact
Pro Mujer is an innovative microfinance organization based in Latin America that is working hard to develop models that support enterprise, as well as health programming. The services that they offer, both financial and non-financial, are vital to the communities they serve. Pro Mujer targets women and the very poor, two venerable populations, for their services. The organization also has excellent client retention. This is a measure that few microfinance organizations track. The fact that Pro Mujer measures this outcome, as well as their quality services, demonstrates their commitment to the clients they serve. The organization also has a great staff and strong leadership.
See the complete expert review.

Leadership
Pro-mujer Rosario Perez. Ms. Pérez was appointed to this position in 2008 following a distinguished 21-year career in private banking where she led multinational businesses and teams, and executed organizational transformations. Based at Pro Mujer’s international headquarters in New York City, Ms. Pérez oversees the organization’s operations, which include a gross portfolio of nearly US$82 million dollars, 1,500 employees who serve more than… See full bio.


Financial Data
Charity Navigator Rating: 1stars (profile)
Total Revenue:
$31,628,888


From the Nonprofit
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Contact Info
E-Mail:
communications AT promujer.org
Phone:
646-626-7000 
Facebook:
Follow_fb
Address:
253 W. 35th Street, 11th floor South
 
New York, NY 10001 , USA
Twitter:
Follow_twitter


Pro-mujer Story: Eight years ago, Maria and her husband were struggling to support their family in León, Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Americas after Haiti, where 48% of the population lives below the poverty line. To help make ends meet, her three children - ages 14, 21, and 23 - would wander the streets after school selling tortillas and other small food items prepared by their parents out of their home.

An initial loan of US$48 provided Maria with the power to invest in her business and buy ingredients such as corn, beans, rice and oil in bulk. As her business grew, Maria’s income increased and life dramatically improved for her and her family. Her children were able to stop working and instead focus on their studies. She was able to improve their living conditions by upgrading the plastic covering on their walls with brick and her dirt floors to concrete. The primitive fire pit that she once cooked over, the smoke from which is one of the leading causes of potentially lethal respiratory illnesses, has since been replaced with a large, more modern stove. Her purchasing power allowed her to acquire a bike enabling her to diversify her business and travel greater distances to sell her products.

Just as Maria and her family reached a high point in their economic wellbeing, she suffered a major set-back. During a regular Pap screening offered through Pro Mujer’s primary health care services, she received an abnormal result. Maria was quickly referred to a surgeon and able to receive a life-saving operation. Building upon the success of the past few years, Maria and her family are preparing for a brighter future. By repaying her loans responsibly, maria has been able to build her credit. Her most recent amount was US$1,714. Her youngest child is in high school while her older children are studying Mechanical Engineering and Accounting at the local university. She remains healthy and receives a Pap smear every three months to ensure her continued health.

Maria learned to make tortillas from her mother who also dedicated her life to long hours in a hot kitchen with poor ventilation, but she has dreams of a different life for her children. She wants them to keep studying so that one day they can become professionals. By utilizing the tools that Pro Mujer provides, Maria has not only become a small business owner, but the owner of her own destiny.

Expert Reviews of Pro Mujer

Evidence of Impact Summary:

Pro Mujer is an innovative microfinance organization based in Latin America that is working hard to develop models that support enterprise, as well as health programming. The services that they offer, both financial and non-financial, are vital to the communities they serve. Pro Mujer targets women and the very poor, two venerable populations, for their services. The organization also has excellent client retention. This is a measure that few microfinance organizations track. The fact that Pro Mujer measures this outcome, as well as their quality services, demonstrates their commitment to the clients they serve. The organization also has a great staff and strong leadership.
See expert comments.

Organization Strengths Summary:

Pro Mujer has a strong model in many ways. They combine microfinance with other services, and were one of the first to do so. Also, the affiliate-based structure, combined with the fact that they focus on a single region, enables exchange between affiliates. Many experts praise the Pro Mujer’s leadership, which is strong at the head of the organization as well as its affiliate organizations throughout the region. Pro Mujer is a very client driven organization, developing their services and programs around the needs of the clients. Lastly, the organization has strong operations, which helps to keep everything running smoothly.
See expert comments.

Areas for Improvement Summary:

Pro Mujer may need to take a closer look at many of their operational and management practices. Some expert suggestions include changing their system for social performance audits, and working on retaining staff loyalty. Experts discussed the possibility of Pro Mujer expanding out of Latin America. While one expert would like to see the organization expand geographically, another pointed out that such a move could be resource draining. The organization may also want to work on increasing staff capacity around commercial financial operations.
See expert comments.

Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Resources for Women

R
They are one of the best providers of financial services and other non-financial services to low income women in developing countries.
O
Pro Mujer works in several countries of Latin America, supporting women. Their records indicate that many women are supported by this organization. In Bolivia, Pro Mujer is adding various products. Their impact can be seen in their number of clients, their support for women, and their financial and non-financial services.

Microfinance Plus

N
Pro Mujer has well-managed programs that combine a healthcare education program with microfinance. It is an innovative model that seems to attract and retain clients.
O
There is a clear commitment throughout all the Pro Mujer institutions working in different Latin American countries. They have undertaken significant initiatives to link microfinance with health care for women.
N
They are responsible for serious experimentation and development around creating models for combining microfinance and health.
O
They are best known for their ability for looking holistically at their clients and providing not just the financial services needed but a full range of services to them including education, health care, etc. Now that they have built a network throughout Latin America, they are unbeatable.
N
They not only provide micro-credit for enterprise, but also provide health services. They have high repayment rates and track a very important indicator: client retention.

Great Leadership

O
They consistently focus on the poorest clients. I have always admired the integrity of one of their leaders, Carmen Velasco.

Great Staff

O
Good staff has been key to the high impact demonstrated by this microfinance institution.


Expert Comments: Organization Strengths

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

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X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Client-Driven

R
Pro Mujer has great leadership and a strong management. They also design products according to their clients.
O
Pro Mujer was one of the first to add health services for its clients. They now also assist their oldest clients in capturing pension benefits created by the Bolivian government.
N
ProMujer has a solid and consistent focus on meeting women's needs. They have maintained a steady focus on this even while many other organizations have strayed.
N
Their strengths are their commitment to savings and the integration of microfinance with health

Impressive Leadership

N
Pro Mujer is ably led by Rosario Perez, who has the financial expertise to allow its affiliates to compete in the rapidly commercializing sector. Pro Mujer also has competent leadership at the affiliate level.
O
They have a strong staff and leadership. Pro Mujer has a highly qualified staff. Additionally, the institution offers various non-financial services which are highly valued by customers.
O
The leadership is first-class. They have built a multi-country network throughout Latin America that is one of the most impressive. They use microfinance as a platform for the delivery of other services, including health, education, and counseling. Carmen Velasco is a real expert in social performance management as well.

Great Model

O
They have great leadership and a strong group-based model.
N
The fact that they focus on a single geographic region enables inter-regional exchange. They also have passion for their work.
N
Pro Mujer is strong mainly in offering an inspiring example of microfinance in action in Bolivia, and they have replicated this example in other countries of Latin America.

Strong Operations

O
Their strengths are their staff and operations. I think that operations is a key area for this entity and is reflected in their overall figures.
N
The founders are very focused on finding solutions to poverty. They also have strong management and organizational systems.


Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Examine Possible Program Expansion

R
They need to expand their program to countries outside of Latin America.
N
Pro Mujer is small and limited in outreach to five countries of Latin America. They may have trouble achieving scale globally and remaining competitive in attracting financial and human resources.

Improve Operations & Management

O
I believe that if they were to create a committee for social performance audits, like FINCA, Pro Mujer could become one of the best microfinance institutions in the industry.
O
They could improve by working on good monitoring systems. They would benefit from internal auditing, as well as streamlining their social performance monitoring system.
O
They could use improvement in all areas: training, portfolio, marketing, operations, finances, etc.
O
Pro Mujer should keep in mind that one advantage that for profit organizations have over nonprofits is that nonprofits often lack savings and deposits. Also, there are several changes occurring with the organization, due to lack of leadership and focus in management that may weaken the staff loyalty.

Increase Staff Capacity

N
They would benefit from more in-house knowledge about commercial financial operations.

Increse Engagment in Global Policy

N
Pro Mujer has been a prominent voice in global policy debates but not of the same magnitude as ACCION.

Resolve Internal Conflicts

N
It seems right now that internal politics are reducing the organization's effectiveness. The proprietary and closed nature that their focus has recently taken on will diminish their influence and power of their voice in the sector, and it is a voice that is much needed.


Leadership

Pro-mujer
Rosario Perez
President and Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Pérez was appointed to this position in 2008 following a distinguished 21-year career in private banking where she led multinational businesses and teams, and executed organizational transformations. Based at Pro Mujer’s international headquarters in New York City, Ms. Pérez oversees the organization’s operations, which include a gross portfolio of nearly US$82 million dollars, 1,500 employees who serve more than 237,000 clients, and 176 community centers in 31 regions throughout Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru. Prior to joining Pro Mujer, Ms. Pérez spent more than two decades in a number of senior leadership positions for J.P. Morgan Chase, culminating in becoming the executive in charge of its Private Bank Latin American division. In this role, Ms. Pérez was responsible for overall client management and operating and financial performance from 1997 to 2005. During her tenure, she oversaw the division’s successful execution of the Chase/J.P. Morgan merger, which included 475 employees in 10 offices worldwide, $30 billion dollars in assets under management and $280 million dollars in revenue. Originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, Ms. Pérez received her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Universidad de las Américas (Mexico) and a Master’s degree in European History from Yale University.

From the Nonprofit

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