Thursday, September 1, 2011


Right now I am forming a Community Credit Enterprise in Cristo Rey, but also I work with a well-established CCE in San Cristobal Norte (my community).

San Cristobal Norte’s CCE (named SACRIN) is successful. Founded in 1996 with a social capital of 100,000 colones (around $200), they now have a social capital of 26,000,000 colones (around $52,000) and a credit portfolio of 115,000,000 colones (around $230,000). The capital is formed by means of members of the bank buying stocks in the CCE.  This is impressive, especially considering that the majority of the 83 members have not finished primary school and work principally in agriculture.

As I go through the formation process with the group in Cristo Rey, I ask myself, what is the recipe of motivation? Why has SACRIN succeeded while many other CCE’s are still struggling year after year?

Autonomy. Purpose. Mastery.

“Autonomy-  The urge to direct our own lives
Purpose- The yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves
Mastery-  The desire to get better at something that matters” (-Daniel Pink, TEDtalk)

In Daniel Pink’s 2009 TEDtalk, he outlines the science behind motivation, arguing that for complex “thinking” tasks rewards are not the answer, but rather the intrinsic motivation to do something interesting is .

SACRIN is motivated, and not by money. The board of directors takes time away from their families, their work, their leisure time for the betterment of the CCE. They have been handed full control of the workings of the CCE, FINCA-Costa Rica was there 15 years ago to help in the formation, and they have a once a month meeting with 5 other CCE’s in the community, but the CCE is all theirs. They have complete responsibility of its success or failure.
2 members of the Cristo Rey group, taking responsibility and putting up the 22 steps 

SACRIN takes a great focus on the improvement on the community (members and non-members of the CCE). They offer various business courses, space for meetings, a library and a savings program for all youth in the community. The CCE is a part of something greater; it is not just access to loans, but a vehicle for change in the community.

And lastly, mastery- they have progressed greatly since the day of 20 members, and a suitcase for an office. Don Ananias, the president, directs the meetings with great skill, after years of experience and the continued desire to get better. He brings Costa Rican’s “Commercial Code” along with the CCE’s own regulations to every meeting, and can often be seen referencing them to help guide his decisions.

Right now, with Cristo Rey, I am focusing on autonomy. Giving them control of the formation of the CCE, allowing them to direct the meetings and take full responsibility. 

1 comment:

  1. Liz, great post as always and very motivating as I contemplate launching several small businesses! Still at the autonomy and purpose stages, but sharpening the focus. Good luck with your enterprise down there! - Dad