Commtouch gives back

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Trickle UpIn the spirit of the holiday, Commtouch has chosen to make a donation to a charitable organization on behalf of our business partners and friends. We considered many options and decided upon a very worthy organization called Trickle Up. According to their Web site, Trickle Up aims to “empower people living on less than $1 a day to take the first steps out of poverty, providing them with resources to build microenterprises for a better quality of life.” Together with local agencies, Trickle Up provides “business training and seed capital to launch or expand a microenterprise, and savings support to build assets.”

In 2007, Trickle Up launched more than 11,000 microbusinesses, and their statistics are impressive:  9 of 10 Trickle Up businesses continue after the first year, 7 of 10 microentrepreneurs increase their family’s food intake, 5 of 10 are able to send more children to school, 5 of 10 are able to buy better clothing for their families, 85% of Trickle Up businesses are lead by women and 10% of the people served by Trickle Up have a disability.

Some examples of the Trickle Up impact include:

Ajmeri family, India
Trickle Up empowers women—who make up 70% of the world’s poorest people—to become leaders in their communities through business training and membership in savings groups. With the profits from her rickshaw business, Ajmeri Bibi now saves money each month, sends her two youngest children to school and has become a local women’s health advocate.   -India

Guatemalan weaverRosa Pichaya Pichaya, seated at her loom, is the treasurer of a women’s weaving collective in Comalapa. Through Trickle Up’s support, the women are turning traditional skills into profit-making businesses that improve their quality of life.  Prior to receiving Trickle Up support, the women relied on middlemen, who sold their products and provided the materials they needed on credit. Now, the members of the collective sell their own products and buy their own materials, resulting in higher profits.   -Guatemala

Ballam savings boxAïssata Ballam, treasurer of her savings group in Horogundé, Mali, holds her group’s savings box.  As Trickle Up members save a portion of their earnings, funds are collected in this box and later used to provide small loans to members for reinvestment in their microenterprises. Fastened by three locks belonging to three separate key holders, the savings box can only be opened when the members meet. Locks help ensure that the women have a safe place to save, which helps to reduce their vulnerability.   -Mali, West Africa

Empowering women in Uganda

Seed capital is just one of Trickle Up’s three program components. Trickle Up also offers business training to plan, launch, market and maintain a sustainable livelihood. Here, two Ugandan women learn how to save a portion of their earnings through membership in a savings group so that their profits will provide access to more capital. - Uganda, East Africa

A donation has also been made to Charity Navigator, without whose tools, this process would have been much more difficult. Charity Navigator works to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace by evaluating the financial health of over 5,300 charities. Their user-friendly site is can be sorted by charity name, location or type of activity. They also feature valuable opinion pieces, donation tips, and rankings of efficient and inefficient organizations. Charity Navigator assisted our search and made the decision-making process that much simpler.

Commtouch wishes all of our partners and friends…and everyone around the world…a happy and healthy new year.

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