HOpE Present Program Focus
Hands-on Operation for Entrepreneurship (HOpE) is our economic empowerment arm that began in 2005 with the community rebuilding in post-tsunami Aceh and Nias. Post Aceh, HOpE evolved into a sustainable program that creates jobs and open gives access to funds for entrepreneurship.
In 2009, we started a social investment prototype through an education linked micro loan. It is a “conditional micro loan” where the attainment of education becomes the condition of the access to funds. Micro loan is given to the mothers of our students and the female micro entrepreneurs in their community. The idea is to create a stable income to the families of our students so they can focus in their study. The goal is to achieve 100,000 active clients by 2015, impacting the lives of half a million people.
The income generated from this micro-loan activity is recycled back to support HoLD program. This is the heart of our social investment prototype. The micro-loan activity is operated under YCAB Cooperatives. By 2011, YCAB Cooperatives has covered the operation costs of HoLD learning centers.
Besides operating a job center for our graduates, the second aspect of this program is seed capital for our graduates who are aspired to be entrepreneurs. Currently, we are prototyping a couple of micro-business models. The idea is to find the right and safe models for our students to embark into seed capital to run the business themselves.
HOpE programme has two parts:
1.) EMPLOYMENT: We help graduates from our learning centres find internships and gain employment in the respective industry based on the vocational skill they choose to learn.
a) SEED CAPITAL FOR OUR GRADUATES. This is a start-up capital to help those who are aspired to be entrepreneur. We are in the process of developing several business models to help our graduate to minimize their risk while learning to be financially independent.
b) CONDITIONAL MICRO LOAN. The idea is to give incentives to the family of our students so that their going back to school – most of the time, at the expense of family income reduction – would be supported by their parents. We work with low-income communities starting with the mothers of our students as the main target. We only offer microcredit to female micro-entrepreneurs, who are the dominant retail channel to poor area and encourage long-term entrepreneurship.
We call this “conditional” because they are only eligible for loans if they agree to send their children who dropped out of school back to study within the first year since they receive loan from YCAB. That’s the first condition. If they cannot afford regular school, the children can attend our learning center (HoLD) for a small fee of U$0.5-1 per month. The education of their school-age children is the prerequisite for them to get access to the micro funds. Subsequently, as they increase their loan size at every loan cycle, to maintain their eligibility to funds, they must fulfill the second condition. That is this: they must help recruit at least one school drop-outs from their neighborhood. Sending one child to our center means a continuation of access to micro funds.
This micro-loans is a non-commercial fund generating activity whereas majority of the funds raised is reinvested for the sustainability of the education program at HoLD. Thus, HOpE’s micro-loan activity is a means to an end, that is: education for all.