YWCA Dunedin primarily works through The Angel Fund. The fund has been lending interest-free micro credit loans for up to $2500 to women since 1997 – that’s over 700 loans so far.
Words by Heather Moore — Board Member, YWCA Dunedin
We were seeing a lot of women being held back because they couldn’t access traditional loans. Not big loans – often just a small amount of money would have made the difference between taking a leap forward and standing still.
Some women wanted to study, start a small business or develop a new idea. There were women who found themselves in strained financial circumstances too: those from broken families or who had inherited a debt. We realised there was a big gap here and we were excited that we could fill it.
In a nutshell, The Angel Fund helps women and their families to become financially independent through educational, business and personal development. We take great care to make sure the women don’t end up in further debt, and link them to mentors if that will help. It’s a delicate balance because we want to empower women but we don’t want to take over their ideas.
Often the women who come to us have low confidence and one of the biggest things the Angel Fund does is tell them ‘we believe in you.’ They go on to discover for themselves that they are worth investing in.
Read more stories from YWCAs across New Zealand in our 2017 Annual Report.