About Fundación de Apoyo Comunitario y Social del Ecuador (FACES)
Fundacion de Apoyo Comunitario y Social del Ecuador (known by its Spanish acronym FACES) is a not for profit non-governmental organisation based in the city of Loja in southern Ecuador. Although it has promoted a wide range of development programmes, its primary activity has always been the provision of loans to low income sectors of the population. It has been working continuously since it was established in 1991 and its activities cover most of the province of Loja, as well as part of the neighbouring province of Zamora-Chinchipe. It is currently expanding operations in to the coastal province of El Oro.
What is FACES mission?
Its mission is ‘to contribute to the economic and social development of the southern region of Ecuador, in particular to facilitate empowerment of marginalised and/or vulnerable social and economic groups, through the provision of microfinance and other development projects’. It considers microfinance ‘as a tool that can be used to contribute to the empowerment of poor people’ particularly women who form approximately 58% of borrowers.
What types of financial services does FACES provide?
It provides individual and group loans generally for periods of between 6-18 months for investment in business, agriculture and trade. It works in both urban and rural areas. It is not permitted to accept savings deposits.
How much interest does FACES charge?
Microfinance institutions (MFIs) charge higher rates of interest for several reasons. Firstly, the administrative costs of making many small loans are much higher than making fewer larger loans; secondly, they take more time assessing the feasibility of applications and thereby reducing risk because borrowers cannot offer traditional forms of collateral nor do they have salaried incomes; thirdly MFIs often operate in geographically remote areas with low population densities and this means that they incur greater operational costs; and fourthly they often accompany loans with a range of training and technical advice. In addition, inflation is generally higher than in countries such as the UK, the inflation rate for Ecuador is shown below. FACES charges borrowers annual interest rates of between 20-28% on a declining balance. It charges the lower rates for persons with disabled members in the household and loans for agricultural activities. There is an interest rate ceiling in Ecuador of 30.50% per annum.
Does FACES provide any training?
Yes, borrowers receive training in the following areas:
· Basic bookkeeping and loan management
· Health education (particularly in reproductive health, domestic violence, and basic hygiene)
· Promoting entrepreneurship and income-earning opportunities among clients with disabilities or with disabled members in their families
· Strengthening associative groups
Among agricultural borrowers it also promotes sustainable management of natural resources and informs farmers on the dangers of working with chemicals and the importance of protective equipment when fumigating.
Where can I find out more information about FACES?
FACES: Basic facts and figures
|Full name:||Fundación de Apoyo Comunitario y Social del Ecuador
|Proportion of loans given to women:||56%|
|Average loan size:||US$1,803
|Number of active borrowers:||9,621
|Gross loan portfolio:
||US$14,515,813 as of January 2014
|Portfolio at Risk (PAR) at 30 days:
(This information was updated in January 2014)
Ecuador: Facts and figures
|Life expectancy at birth:||76.79 years
|Adult literacy rate:||94.5%
|Access to improved water source:
|Human Development Index ranking:
||88 (of 188 countries)
Sources: World Bank, CIA World Factbook and Unicef's State of the World's Children 2008