Image source: MicroPlace
Interested in using your investments to directly help low-income folks develop sustainable income, possibly even in your local community? MicroPlace, launched in 2007, offers microfinance loans, but with a twist for investors. What makes MicroPlace different from other microfinance options? Investors get a return on their investment, which they can use to reinvest in future projects, thus making the money go further.According to MicroPlace, over 1 billion people around the world live on less than $2 a day, but only 10% of these have access to micro-finance loans. MicroPlace, with the "Small Change, Big Change" program, now gives more people access to the start-up capital needed to get their business off the ground.
What makes this program even better is that anyone can get involved. Coinstar estimates that the average home has $100 in change lying around, which translates into two months income for a low-income business. MicroPlace is encouraging everyone to begin collecting their unused coinage and put it to good use. $100 is enough capital to purchase supplies and equipment, and keep a business going long enough to get a return. Investors can then check online to see how businesses are doing and learn more about how they are helping communities.
Investors can also choose US-investments, a first in the world of micro-finance loans, allowing community members to help build up their local community. In addition, investors can choose the rate of return they prefer and their timeline for repayment. MicroPlace reports that over 84% of recipients of micro-finance loans are women and have a 97% repayment rate.
Where Can I Find More on Microfinance?
Treehugger recently did a How to Go Green Guide on Investing and offers a few ideas and tips on Microfinance.
Microplace was created by Tracey Turner, who has experience at the Grameen Bank and the World Bank, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ebay, Inc. :Microplace::Small Change, Big Change
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