Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Associated Press Takes a Closer Look at the Need for Microfinance in the US

About two weeks ago, I wrote a post about the pressing need for microfinance services – particularly microcredit, small loans for very small businesses – here at home in the US, not just in the developing world. In that post I featured OUR MicroLending, a Miami-based microcredit company that has disbursed over 1,050 small loans to over 600 South Florida micro-entrepreneurs, to the tune of around $6.2 million, who were turned away by the big banks after applying for loans. In our current credit crunch, the company is giving these hard-working merchants a way to restock, expand, hire and, by extension, stimulate their local neighborhood economies. OUR MicroLending is also working to expand its operations to the entire state of Florida and, eventually, the rest of the country. Because there is so much unfulfilled need for these types of services here, I was heartened to read an excellent Associated Press article, published last week, about the fine work microfinance organizations are doing in the United States. OUR MicroLending had a starring role in the story, which appeared in the Washington Post and at least 25 newspapers and websites, spreading the message of financial inclusion far and wide. My congratulations go to AP reporter Laura Wides-Muñoz for a great piece. Here’s hoping some struggling entrepreneurs who don’t know about microfinance read it and realize there is hope.

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