As a means to foster women's leadership and financial stability, Programa Velasco supports a Community Savings and Lending Group for Women. Thirteen women affiliated with Centro Hogar (mothers and teachers) were selected to participate in the group. Each woman involved has either a part-time, temporary or very low paying full-time job. Many are single mothers with a number of children, multiple expenses and limited means to support themselves and their families.
The Community Savings and Lending Group for Women offers tools for women to empower themselves and build more financial independence by providing access to small loans, which they pay back to the group's communal account. Women take out credit for three purposes: investment in an established small business or to start her own or other's small business initiatives, immediate family health care and educational needs or small home repairs.
Over time, the account can become self-sustaining by earning revenue on interest received from loans and the revenue from fundraisers, all coordinated and planned by the women. The group also encourages women to contribute some money earned from their own jobs to a savings each month. This encourages good financial management habits and access to a savings fund if they should ever need it in the future. The members of the Community Development Program within ANADES facilitate and train the women on how to organize and run the communal account. Through the group, women learn financial management, develop leadership skills and build a strong community amongst themselves and business partners and associates within San Ramon.