Qredits successful in the Caribbean for 5 years

Five years ago Qredits established her first office on Bonaire. This year the microcredit provider will be celebrating this special anniversary on a small scale due to the corona crisis. Qredits’ mission is to promote and foster entrepreneurship. After years of working on this mission in the Netherlands the opportunity arose to set up a Qredits operation on Bonaire. Now five years later Qredits is also active on Aruba, Sint Maarten (and Saba and St. Eustatius) and Curaçao.

Not for profit
Qredits has a special position in the financial market. Qredits is not a bank, but a non-profit social enterprise. In addition to credit, the social lender also offers free coaching to its customers. Experienced entrepreneurs and professionals in the field of marketing or finance are among the group of voluntary Qredits coaches. These independent coaches especially help start-ups to successfully start and build up their businesses. Qredits is known for its personal and flexible approach and offering more than just credit.

The first loan application on Bonaire was received on August 28, 2015. Today over 230 business loans have been disbursed to local entrepreneurs; proof of the significant impact Qredits has on local entrepreneurship on the island.
In January last year the Bonaire team moved to a new location at Kaya Industria 15G in Kralendijk, that was officially opened on January 21, 2019 by Prime Minister Rutte and State Secretary Knops.

CEO and founder of Qredits, Elwin Groenevelt, talks about the portfolio on the island; “The types of business that Qredits has funded are very diverse. They include local restaurants, clothing stores, a juice bar, a cleaning company and much more. All struggled to find financing and were looking for that extra support. It is wonderful that we can provide this. Especially when you consider the impact we have in this way. All over the island we have customers that have made their dreams come true. “

After the success of Qredits on Bonaire, the Aruba office was opened on April 1, 2017. Now three years later Qredits Aruba has already granted 200 loans. On top op that Qredits entrepreneurs on Aruba can reach out no less than 25 voluntary coaches for personal coaching to help grow their business. A great result as it is one of Qredits’ core values to connect and foster entrepreneurship.

Sint Maarten
Shortly after the start of Qredits on Sint Maarten in September 2017 Qredits was quick to introduce special loan conditions in December 2017 for entrepreneurs on Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius. The aim of this special support program was to assist entrepreneurs in the wake of the devastation caused by hurricane Irma and help them rebuild or even start a business at that time. There was a huge need for this low cost financing option to work on reconstruction and prepare for the future. This was evidenced by  the fact that Qredits received over 200 loan applications during a very brief period. 

Another highlight during this difficult period was the visit of the Dutch Royal couple King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, an ambassador for microfinance. They took time to speak with several Qredits customers. To date the islands counts over 300 Qredits entrepreneurs.

Qredits Curacao was launched in April 2018. Elwin Groenevelt about the opening; “Having a location on Curaçao means that everyone in the Dutch Kingdom now has the opportunity to apply for a loan from us. Seeing that our vision is to realize as many entrepreneurial dreams as possible, this location on Curaçao really is the icing on the cake. This way we can help even more people start or strengthen their business. And that is what Qredits is all about. ”

And successfully so, because to date 160 microcredit loans have been provided to entrepreneurs in Curaçao. Additionally over 30 bridging loans have been granted to entrepreneurs that are in serious trouble due to the corona crisis.
These bridging loans are the result of a partnership with the Ministry of Economic Development, among others. On the other islands these bridging loans are made available as well to support entrepreneurs during these trying times.

Socially invested
Not only promoting entrepreneurship is important for Qredits. Seeking connection and showing the social character of Qredits is typical for the lender, but also for its employees. Employees on every island are committed to social causes. On Bonaire this translates, for example, into the efforts for BonDoet, on Curaçao for CuraDoet and on Aruba Qredits is actively involved in the Global Money Week.

Educational programs
To stimulate entrepreneurship among young people, Qredits offers an educational program, called EigenBaas, to familiarize students with the most important aspects of entrepreneurship. EigenBaas has been introduced at two schools on Bonaire as well as on Aruba. In addition to this school program Qredits also offers entrepreneurial training classes for adults, where participants are guided through the process of researching their idea and writing a business plan. Qredits has been working with the FORMA Foundation on Bonaire for four years in offering these classes in preparation for entrepreneurship.

5-year Anniversary
Due to the corona crisis Qredits 5-year anniversary celebration on Bonaire will be held relatively small. As Elwin Groenevelt indicates: “A party is not suitable in these times, where many entrepreneurs struggle to keep their heads above water. The Qredits teams wish all entrepreneurs a lot of strength and wisdom during these turbulent times. If any of you are struggling with entrepreneurship, please do not hesitate to contact us! Our colleagues on the islands, but also in the Netherlands, are happy to help! ”