Microcredit Foundation “Horizonti” – Skopje
Horizonti was created in January 2000 as a microfinance programme by Catholic Relief Services-USCC in Macedonia.
The project’s primary goals were to provide access to finance for low-income women entrepreneurs so that they could improve their business and livelihoods. In addition, the project’s long-term goal was to create a professional and locally registered microfinance institution. In July 2005, the programme spun-off from CRS by registering a local NGO (Foundation) according to the Law on Citizen’s Associations and Foundation in the Republic of Macedonia.
Horizonti’s mission is to provide sustained access to financial services for the low-income, economically active population in Macedonia, primarily women-entrepreneurs the socially excluded and marginalised groups in order to support and develop small businesses, create new jobs and improve the quality of life.
The governing bodies are the Founder (CRS) and the Board of Directors composed of 5 independent individuals, with diverse expertise to ensure the adequate balance between social and financial returns. The board membership is approved by the Founder.
Under the guidance of the Executive Director, the senior management is composed by an Accounting and Finance Manager, an Operations Manager, a Risk Manager as well as an ICT Administrator and a Logistics Officer. In total, the institution has
38 staff members, of which 21 employees are loan officers
Organisation is dedicated to targeting poor groups both in urban and rural areas. Urban clients are mainly people with small business in the area of retail (75%), services and small production, where the loan purpose is mainly for working capital. In rural areas, 100% of Horizonti clients are individual farmers with small farming activities; cattle breed in grand crop production, whose needs are primarily for the purchase of seeds, fertilizers and other materials as well as
buying additional cattle and the purchase of equipment.
Geographical Area of Operation
The programme originated in the greater Skopje area and then expanded its operations in seven other cities throughout the
country, reaching 65-70% national coverage. Currently, Horizonti provides its services through 8 branch offices located in the
larger cities in the country (Skopje, Prilep, Bitola, Veles, Kocani, Gostivar and Strumica), with the Head Office based in Skopje.
Products and Services
Horizonti’s financial services cover three areas: business (group or individual), agri-loans (group or individual) and housing loans with the following characteristics:
Small business and agri group loans: EUR 250-1,500; 12 months; for working capital.
Individual business loans: EUR 1,000-5,000; up to 48 months; for working capital and purchase of filed assets.
Individual agri-loans: EUR 1,000-10,500; up to 60 months; for working capital and purchase of field assets.
Housing loans: EUR 850-5,000; up to 36 months; for renovation, reconstruction and other housing intervention.
In addition, Horizonti provides consultancy services to clients and access to non-financial services provided directly by Horizonti or partner organisations.
Horizonti is an institution with strong commitment to social goals and the creation of positive impact for clients. This is why all efforts are directed at building financial systems that serve target clients. All services must fit the needs and preferences of its clients.
In order to meet these aspirations, Horizonti’s lending methodology is based on both group and individual approaches
Horizonti’s funding sources equally divided in two types: external donations from CRS, OSI, Caritas Norway, and others which compose Horizonti’s capital; and debt funding both from national and international institutions.