Working Capital for Community Needs (WCCN) celebrated 35 years of service this past weekend with a dinner event at the Lake Windsor Country Club featuring music from the Angela Puerta band and a keynote address from Latin American finance expert Veronica Herrera.
WCCN, a Madison-based non profit organization, provides microfinance opportunities to working poor communities of Latin America, as lack of access to credit is one of poverty’s root causes, according to their website. The organization serves six countries in Latin America with majority of finance going to Nicaragua.
Throughout the celebration guests learned statistics from the organization’s history. For instance, since 1991, more than $123 million has been invested in Latin America with more than 17,600 borrowers and farmers served. Sixty-four percent of borrowers are women business owners and 61 percent of borrowers live in rural areas.
More than 15 tables of supporters and activists heard speaker Veronica Herrera, CEO of WCCN partner organization MiCredito Herrera, named one of the top 25 most influential business women in Latin America, told supporters to continue their faith even through Nicaragua’s financial crisis.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,” she said during her speech, quoting an African proverb.
Summer Kerksick is a second-year intern at WCCA. She is from Chicago but comes to Madison to work at this organization during the summer.
“(Herrera) just said that $300 can help start three businesses,” she said. “This organization helps me understand how I can help small businesses play a larger role in a corporate world.”
Herrera’s speech ended with a special song from Angela Puerta Band performed alongside a slideshow of 35 photos from the history of the organization.