Brazil’s Banco Pérola Aiming at High GOOOALS with Kiva

As thousands of soccer fans celebrate and cheer on their teams in Brazil, let’s also consider the people who play out their lives, day in and day out, in the country taking center stage this summer. At Kiva the spotlight is on Banco Pérola, a non-profit that offers microloans to youth entrepreneurs, ages 18-35 years old, from low-income families in Brazil.

Banco Pérola operates a lot differently than your average bank. Walking alone into a big, cold bank as a young entrepreneur, while carrying deep-seated fear of rejection, is nerve-racking to say the least.  Banco Pérola relieves youth of this tension by visiting them in their homes and businesses to conduct loan transactions at a personal level.

An Innovative Strategy:

Banco Pérola makes sure their loans not only have an important social impact, but that they are also realistic to repay. To do this, they provide borrowers with resources and training on how to best manage a successful business.

Some banks only lend to people with good credit history. Banco Pérola does not exclude people who have struggled in the past, but are ready and able to move forward today. Banco Pérola ensures loans are repaid by lending to small groups of borrowers who support and depend on one another to repay the loan. A sense of obligation to a friend, neighbor, or family member is much stronger for young entrepreneurs than any relationship with a bank.

Putting the spotlight on borrowers:

Banco Pérola has been with Kiva for under a year and has already helped 22 entrepreneurs get their businesses up and running.

100% Repaid!

Alex lives in São Paulo and supports his three daughters by building houses from the ground up. He has successfully repaid his whole loan, which he used to buy building material, paints, and to pay his workers. He wants his daughters to get an education and escape the life of backbreaking work he has had to endure.

Paying it Back!

Fernanda has always dreamed of opening her own soap shop to support her two children. She used her loan to buy raw materials to make perfume and soap. She is now on her way to repaying the loan with her new profits.

When you see Brazil and its soccer players flash across every sports channel, think about all of the people behind the scenes trying to make their own mark on the country. Celebrate your team’s success by giving back to Brazil and lend to Banco Pérola today!

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About the author

Audra Wingard

Audra just graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Anthropology and Education. She was first introduced to microloans during a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico where she toured a group of small businesses local women had started using microloans. She was inspired by the excitement these women had about their businesses and the successful profits they were already gaining from them. Audra wants to work for Kiva and help motivated people overcome financial obstacles and achieve their dreams. During her time at UC Berkeley she volunteered in a number of schools and education programs in Oakland and San Francisco and loves to work with kids. She plans to go to graduate school for International Educational Development. and hopes to eventually work internationally to help increase access to education.