This is the story of how DiscoverHope began. What started as a small voice has become the voice of hundreds of people that come together to inspire hope.
The seeds of DiscoverHope began in 2004 when Founder Maggie Miller heard an internal personal call to “go see with other eyes.” This personal charge filled Maggie with a desire to leave the boundaries of the United States to see herself from a different perspective, to see with other eyes. She followed this call to Cajamarca, Peru where she spent two years in the humble communities of the Northern Andes.
In the first four months, Maggie jumped directly into participation in the culture and asked local women, “What do you need?” After 800 cups of Nescafe coffee and countless conversations with women in the markets, fields, and kitchens, Maggie found that the women all said the same thing- they wanted a hand up, not a hand out: they wanted a window of opportunity for themselves to use their own personal power to step through, they wanted microcredit income and business creation to help craft sustainable lives.
Maggie heard their needs clearly and began studying best-practice microcredit models. She quickly initiated HopeBank, which served as a two year microcredit pilot project with the women of Cajamarca Peru. DiscoverHope became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2007 with the two-fold program goals we practice today: providing microcredit and development education for women in poverty to create an entrepreneurial framework in which they actively participate in their own economic advancement, personal empowerment, and life transformation.
Since our pilot program in 2008, DiscoverHope has provided over 1200 loans and has a 100% payback success rate. We have funded over 2,400 development trainings related to business assistance, literacy, computer, and artisan skills.