Accounting & Finance II - Microlending & Sustainable Development (Panama)

Ask us how you and your class can customize this offering to be done in person in one of our program countries.

Analyze loan applications to support small rural banks in Central America.

In addition to our skill-based learning objectives, building cultural competence is integrated into the course to increase the quality of services and improve outcomes with community partners.


Customize your Business TeleBrigade by selecting a set of modules. Explore available modules below:

Module 1: Introductions and Program Overview

Coordinator and student introductions along with a presentation on Global Brigades (GB) in Panama. Self-paced activity: Group reviews Panama economic development program materials in the context of GB’s Holistic Model for community development.

Module 2: Microfinance

Talk with GB Economic Development Expert to learn about microfinance and its role of supporting small businesses in emerging economies. Self-paced activity: Group reflects on GB economic development model and the role of microfinance as a tool for poverty alleviation. Spanish competition: group encouraged to create Duolingo accounts and compete for “rewards” for who gets furthest throughout the class..

Module 3: Presenting the Rural Bank Client (Caja Rural)

Coordinator presents information about the Caja Rural that the group is going to support. Self-paced activity: Group reviews information about the caja’s operations and researches their geographical and cultural context.

Module 4: Return on Investment Analysis

Coordinator presents how to do a return on investment analysis as it relates to making small business loans. Self-paced activity: Group reviews return on investment framework and relevant financial terms.

Module 5: Introductory Meeting with Rural Bank Leaders

Introductory meeting between rural bank client and group to build relationship and have cultural exchange. Self-paced Activity: Group reviews notes from the client meeting and divides them into teams to begin looking at loan applications.

Module 6: Mentor Session with Professional Finance Consultant

Mentor and GB coordinator help prepare the group to ask the most strategic questions during the consultation day. Self-paced Activity: Group prepares and assigns questions to ask clients based on mentor guidance.

Module 7: Client Consultation Day

Live virtual session with potential borrowers to gather data to create a return on investment projection. Self-paced Activity: Group begins work to create return on investment projections.

Modules 8 and 9: Creating the Accounting Ledger and Bookkeeping Workshops

Two working sessions with coordinators to answer questions and help students create return on investment projections Self-paced Activity: Continuing working in teams to finalize projections and financial literacy workshops.

Module 10: ROI Submission and Final Mentor Feedback

Group submits final ROI calculations and workshops for final feedback from mentors. Self-paced Activity: Group refines workshops and analysis based on mentor feedback.

Module 11: Financial Literacy Workshop with Client(s)

Group delivers workshop on financial literacy to other small businesses in the community. Self-paced Activity: Group finalizes ROI analysis specific to the client.

Module 12: Presenting ROI Analysis to Clients

Group shares ledger with the client and answers questions from the client. Self-paced Activity: Group prepares recommendations to caja leaders.

Module 13: Recommendations to the Caja Leaders

Group shares results to the caja leaders and makes loan recommendations with their feedback. Self-paced Activity: Group decides to make a donation to capitalize any loans needed for the specific client or helps create Kiva profile for them. Students complete the evaluation survey and prepare final reflections. Procure cooking materials and watch the instructional cooking video.

Module 14: Microfinance Activity with Kiva

Group works to support access to small business loans by providing loan updates to Kiva donors. GB is a partner of Kiva (a microloan crowdfunding platform) Self-paced Activity: Review Kiva platform, its place in globalization, and whether your client would be a good candidate for lenders to invest in.

Module 15: Cultural Activity and Project Celebration

GB coordinator debriefs the group on clients’ feedback and reflects on personal and professional development. The team celebrates and shows off how their local dish turned out. Self-paced Activity: Group reviews monitoring and evaluation reports

Impact Reporting

Students will be included in Global Brigades’ regular newsletters and receive project updates and overall monitoring and evaluation of our programs.


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