Microloans & Grants
One of the most significant barriers to economic development for local Mosuo is lack of money. They can have all the ideas and good intentions in the world, but if they lack the financial resources to bring it to fruition, it means nothing.
Microloan projects have proven hugely successful in similar communities all around the world. Essentially, candidates are given small loans (a few hundred dollars at most) to begin a small business. If they pay that money back, they can qualify to get a larger loan to expand and build their business. When they repay that, they can get even larger loans.
Such a system provides an opportunity for people to get started, without the risk of them starting with something that is too big or expensive, that leaves them in crippling debt. It also provides incentive that if they do a good job, they have the opportunity to build on their success.
Of course, money isn't everything, and we also will provide training where possible, to facilitate their success. And all projects are focused on developing a long-term, sustainable economic environment, where they can reach a point where they are no longer dependent on loans, and can operate independently.
Besides loans, in special situations where there is a business project that also provides definite benefit to the Mosuo community as a whole (for example, a museum or cultural exhibit), we may provide grants to fund such ventures, which do not need to be repaid. This will, however, be done on a case-by-case basis, with few such grants given each year.
If you are interested to get involved, or have questions about this, please contact us, or check out our discussion forum.