Thursday, July 24, 2008

Micro Loans

In our community a few of us have been talking about setting up a system to provide micro loans to people who might want to start a business. There are plenty of people in our neighborhood who have a craft or skill-set, but there aren't enough opportunities them to acquire or create jobs for themselves. We've also noticed an increasing number of pay-day loan establishments and department stores that essentially exploit their customer's lack of knowledge in how loans or credit works.
We thought it would be great to provide micro loans and also set up an accountability system with our clients that will not only educate them on loans, but will also invest in community. Each client could be assigned to meet with a small group of other clients each week, and everyone's approval of their next loan will depend on if they've all made their payments or not. This isn't a new idea. The Grameen Bank is not only a great model for this, but their founder, Professor Muhammad Yunus, won a Nobel Peace Prize for the success of this concept.
A few of us talked to a group of businessmen about our ideas, and one of them informed us of We can pretty much set up the system that we need through this amazing website in the event that we become one of their field partners. allows you to create an account on their website and then find impoverished entrepreneurs across the globe. You can then lend small amounts towards their individual goals helping them start or continue their business. I'm pretty excited about this idea, and will be looking into it further. If anyone has any other ideas please leave comments.

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