Nantik Lum is an international non-profit, based in Madrid and created in 2003 by a group of professionals concerned with poverty alleviation and social exclusion. Since our founding, we have worked tirelessly to empower low-income people, providing them the tools they need to succeed and play a leading role in their own development. We use microfinance to help the underserved to create jobs, build assets and raise their standard of living.
In our early years, we supported small productive groups of indigenous women in the Selva Lacandona of Chiapas, Mexico. These women and their ancestral wisdom taught us how to respect and work with the natural resources offered by Mother Earth. Nantik Lum, which means Mother Earth in Mayan Tseltal, was born in recognition of their life philosophy and practices.
Our work is essentially inspired by professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2006. In his own words, “To me, the poor are like Bonsai trees. When you plant the best seed of the tallest tree in a six-inch deep flower pot, you get a perfect replica of the tallest tree, but it is only inches tall. There is nothing wrong with the seed you planted; only the soil-base you provided was inadequate. Poor people are bonsai people. There is nothing wrong with their seeds. Only society never gave them a base to grow on.”
In these last 15 years we have developed international cooperation projects, providing access to financial services and financial education to low-income people and communities in different countries (México, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Ruanda); and we have carried out extensive research on microfinance.
Since 2011, we have implemented social action projects in Spain promoting microfinance, self-employment and inclusive and social entrepreneurship. We offer training, advice and access to financial services to excluded and vulnerable people.