Arbor Assets
About Us

At Arbor Assets, we contribute financial and knowledge-based resources to assist poor, rural communities in less-developed countries engineer their own economic development. We are presently working exclusively in Honduras and Nicaragua.  Founded in 2009, we are a U.S. 501(c)3 non-profit organization based out of Lincoln, Nebraska.

We are principally a micro-lending company, though we also make strategic, capacity-expanding grants to our partner organizations, usually in terms of additional education, equipment, or materials.  As a micro-lending company, we establish funds for our partner organizations to parcel out and administrate.  We presently have three partner organizations; two in Nicaragua and one in Honduras.  They all operate a general fund, which is parceled into micro-loans following certain guidelines.  We also create funds explicitly for the purchase of bio-sand water filters, and, most recently, improved ovens.

Our micro-loan clients are principly women.  While women generally comprise the majority of the agriculture labor force throughout the developing world, they tend to be significantly less productive because they have less access to land, resources, capital, and destination markets.  However, addressing this historical inequity can bring a real windfall: multitudes of studies have shown that women, in much higher numbers when compared to men, tend to reinvest their income directly into their families’ food and water supplies, healthcare, home improvement, and schooling.  (i)

We believe that increased access to necessary inputs substantially builds women’s capacities and skill sets, and that in doing so, these improvements resound powerfully through families and communities to more speedily engineer greater economic development.  Furthermore, decades of experience has plainly demonstrated that women make better microloan clients in terms of their repayment rates when compared to men.  For this and the several reasons above, over 95% of our presently outstanding loans are to women.  We also look for leadership structures that include women in determining who will be our NGO partners, as well as the water committees that we collaborate with.  (ii)(iii)(iv)

We feel it is important to support the local economies and ecologies of the communities in which we work as much as possible - especially within the solutions we advise for their greatest problems.  The bio-sand water filter's material components, as well as the labor needed for their manufacture, are all locally sourced and are therefore a direct boon to the community’s economy.  The same can be said for the improved ovens we help make available.  We also include a 'good environmental stewardship' clause in every micro-loan we issue, meaning that these funds can only be used for pursuits that do no substantive harm to the surrounding ecology.

Whenever possible, it is our intention to include reforestation and agroforestry efforts in our outreach to the communities that we work with.  Trees play an extraordinarily important part in managing the hydrological cycle and preserving both groundwater and surface water resources.  They prevent soil erosion and stabilize the earth against deadly mudslides.  They enrich the soil and sequester pollutants from the earth and its atmosphere.  Further environmental services brought by trees include: temperature regulation, habitat for biodiversity, water purification, climate regulation, enhanced pollination, and mitigation of extreme weather events and there effects.

We encourage any communications and are open to many types of collaboration.  Please direct any inquires to our Managing Director, Rodney Krafka; rodney@arborassets.com. Please direct mailings to:  
  
Arbor Assets
Box 80206
Lincoln NE, 68501-0206
 


    (i) World Bank; World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development; 2012.
    
    (ii) Beatriz Armendariz & Johnathon Morduch;  The Economics of Microfinance;  MIT Press; 2010.

    (iii) Muhammad Yunus; Banker to the Poor;  PublicAffairs Press; 2007.

    (iv) The World Bank; Microfinance Handbook;  World Bank Publications; 2000.