Anne and Marie-Eve are two French students who decided to devote their gap year to travel 6,000 kilometers from Colombia to Argentina and meet micro-credit organizations and project owners in order to support local poor people to access business creation through solidarity financing.

Solidarity financing consists of providing access to credit to those excluded from the usual and formal financial services. It’s credit based on trust because Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) do not require a bank guarantee. This credit is granted to people who want to start their own business; MFIs then offer to assist and train them.

For six months, Anne and Marie-Eve traveled more than 6,000 kilometers by bicycle between Colombia and Argentina. They went to meet microfinance institutions and micro-entrepreneurs to promote this very effective financing solution. Thanks to this means of transport, they were able to meet typical local communities, share, discover the world and learn about themselves and others.

This project took place in four stages: identifying local institutions specialized in microfinance; supporting entrepreneurship by providing financial support; meeting with institutions and entrepreneurs; and finally, sharing their stories.

Check the pictures and watch the video about this extraordinary story on ESSILOR SUN SOLUTION’s YouTube channel, website and Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn pages.

–Andrew Karp