Jayco Inc. today (Oct. 15) announced that its founding family has established a social impact investment fund to provide economic assistance for poor communities in developing countries in Latin America. The fund, to be known as the “Lloyd and Bertha Bontrager Jayco Legacy Fund,” will invest early stage capital (micro-loans) with small businesses to improve the lives of families throughout Central and South America and in the Caribbean.
According to a press release, the fund will begin operation with financial contributions from Jayco and the family of founder Lloyd Bontrager and, eventually, it hopes to include both employees and Jayco dealers as benefactors for the fund.
In making the announcement, Jayco Chairman Wilbur Bontrager said, “The success of our business work provides us with the opportunity of doing our part to help the less fortunate. Our aim with this ongoing funding is to bring dignity and joy to the working poor throughout the Americas by helping them grow sustainable, locally owned businesses and farms that are not dependent on charity for survival. The difference between poverty and prosperity often hinges on the success of small businesses.
“We know that lack of capital and credit are among the biggest problems facing the farmers and small businesses in Latin America. The ‘Lloyd and Bertha Bontrager Jayco Legacy Fund’ will help address these issues.”
The charitable fund will operate through a financial arm of the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), an international development association that creates sustainable solutions to poverty and spurs community growth for millions of families each year. Like Jayco, MEDA has a long history of innovation, and is a trusted partner known for value, integrity and vision.