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Daily CSR
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Whole Planet Foundation Partners With Colombia’s Aflore For Micro-financing


With sustainable financing, Aflore reaches out to the people who lack banking access, whereby creating stable economic conditions in Colombia, while its “quite unique” model has roped in Whole Planet Foundation.

Dailycsr.com – 06 February 2019 – The Whole Planet Foundation began to provide support to various global communities, wherein the “Whole Foods Market” sources the products. The “Whole Foods Market stores” situated all over the U.S. the U.S. and Canada source flowers from Colombia in large quatities.
As a “happy coincidence” perhaps, informs the Whole Foods Market Foundations, its newest Colombian “microfinance partner” is named “Aflore”, derived from the Spanish word “flor”, which means flower. While Whole Foods Market Foundations added:
“Aflore comes from the infinitive aflorar, which means “to surface, to appear,” as in flowers surfacing or appearing, and Aflore is certainly doing that – helping thousands of microentrepreneurs to ‘blossom’ with their own businesses”.
Colombian people with “little or no access” to conventional banking acquire loans from Aflore, while the latter also empowers thousands of “Informal Advisors” to connect to their “own social network” through a business model which embraces innovation and uses smartphone technology.
Moreover, Aflore also offers loans for starting small businesses which helps to establish “economic stability” in the surrounding communities as well as the immediate families. With the help of the Informal Advisors, known as “consejeras”, Aflore capitalises the existing “trust and relationships” within communities by enabling loan agreements. Aflore practices “direct sales model” and selects leaders from the community, whereby training the latter with the needed “processes, procedures, and tools” used at Aflore as a means to provide financial products to “the underbanked”.
The Americas regional director at Whole Planet Foundation, J.P. Kloninger recounted:
“I visited Aflore at their head office in Bogotá, and then flew over to Medellín, where they opened a new branch office less than a year ago. After a favorable review of the organization’s structure, strategy, systems, and in-field operations, we decided to support the Medellín project to allow Aflore to scale significantly in this new region of Colombia, and to further prove their lending concept which is already successful in Bogotá.  With Whole Planet Foundation's funding, Aflore aims to reach 1,500 new microentrepreneurs in Medellín over the next three years”.
To Kloninger the model of Aflore is “quite unique” in comparison to other “traditional microfinance partners” of Whole Planet. Aflore has an “outreach strategy” wherein Informal Advisors are “recruited, trained and incentivized” for building their community network with the focus of “loan origination”. Following this step Aflore takes over to manage the loans as well as the network besides carrying out “analysis and risk-mitigation” work. In Kloninger’s words:
“This model is enabled with innovative, user-friendly technology such as the Mi Aflore phone app that is used to collect borrower information, submit loan applications, manage loan portfolios, communicate with peers and financial and tech support, etc”.
With the evolving global communities of Whole Planet Foundation, even though the poorest population of the world faces new challenges, new opportunities too present themselves to lift them “out of the poverty”. And as Kloninger, points out that, “it is encouraging to see microfinance evolving as well, through fresh, dynamic ideas which organizations such as Aflore in Colombia bring to market”.