The term “empowerment” was born in the 1930s in Chicago, and was subsequently adopted by civil rights and feminist movements in the 1960s. Defenders of empowerment therefore campaign to give these marginalised sections of society the means to act and make their voices heard.

Empowerment is the idea of giving power to individuals. This power is meant to give individuals the necessary tools to act in order to change the social, economic, political and even ecologic conditions to which they are subjected.

 

What is the definition of empowerment?

It is almost impossible to translate empowerment into French, which is very frustrating for us here at Babyloan! As for an English definition, a lot of terms get close to the meaning without covering all of its nuances: independence, responsibility, creativity, personal development, participation, emancipation…

Yet empowerment is all of these things and more. It can be understood as the power to act or, to borrow the words of philosopher Stanislas Breton, to “become the master of your own destiny”.

 

Empowerment and microcredit

Nowadays, the notion of empowerment is frequently linked to the politics of development. It describes actions taken in the fight against poverty that place emphasis on the beneficiaries: the latter receive aid, but this aid must allow them to improve their living conditions all by themselves.

Microcredit is the finest example of empowerment. It is aimed at sections of the population who are excluded from traditional banking systems, and allows them accessing to credit. They can therefore develop an income-generating activity which, once the loan is repaid, will allow them to improve their living conditions and those of their household.

 

How can I act in support of empowerment?

 

Sticking loyally to the principles of empowerment, Babyloan’s activities aim to emancipate the recipients of microcredit. By encouraging the sustainable development of these people, our social business is the ideal complement to humanitarian aid and crisis response organisations.

To participate, all you need to do is make a loan! It could not be simpler: you choose a project in one of our countries of operation, you lend €10 or more, you receive repayments every month for a part of the sum, at which point you can withdraw your money or lend again.