Given that all financial evidence seems to point to the financial demise of the existing policies of La Ceiba, it is imperative that we have a structure, plan , and practices that promote sustainability and success. The Microfinance Handbook asserts that an MFI must relate its activities to its Mission Statement.
If, for example, the MFI’s mission is poverty reduction, a further question to be asked is: How does the MFI intervene on behalf of the poor?
Principles of Mission Statement Revision
A Mission Statement is the guiding document for an institution. As it relates to the business plan, it summarizes operations and objectives for the next 3 years. The Microfinance Handbook states that a key characteristic of a strong microfinance institution is a mission statement that defines the target market and services offered.
The full text of La Ceiba’s Mission statements can be found Here. It states nothing specific, has no tangible goals, does not summarize effectively our operations. It needs to mention–directly, clearly, and concisely–some of the following to be effective and satisfy the characteristics described above:
- We want to be sustainable
- What it is we do (Loans)
- Our Target Market, including poverty level, geographic area, and gender. (Poor women in El Progresso)
- Other relevant (but achievable!) tasks.
Revising the Mission Statement
Each Department, as proposed in the Organizational restructuring, will have a hand in developing the Business Plan. It should be a similar process to construct the mission statement, but the bar should be much higher. Are the goals achievable? Are the goals and sustainability achievable together? Is it specific and concise? Is it clear? These should be taken into consideration, and the multiple inputs should help produce a well crafted Mission Statement to help guide us through the next three years.