Giving Compass’ Take:
• This story from MDRC discusses recent findings which suggest that microloans are a valuable tool for low-income women entrepreneurs.
• For some women, microloans might be the first opportunity to gain financial knowledge. How can donors support this approach?
• To learn more about how small cash transfers to women can lead to them living healthier lives, click here.
Nonprofit research organization MDRC and Grameen America, Inc., the fastest growing nonprofit microfinance organization in the United States, [recently] released the early results of a research study. The study, funded by Robin Hood, is the most rigorous, independent, third-party evaluation of group microfinance in the United States, assessing Grameen America’s program, a microfinance model that provides small loans to low-income women entrepreneurs in the United States seeking to launch or expand small businesses.
Highlights from the early findings of the evaluation of the Grameen America program include:
- More than 94 percent of Grameen America members reported that their financial situation is better than it was the previous year, a 13 percentage point increase over the control group average.
- The Grameen America program produced a 22 percentage point increase in the attainment of a credit score — a VantageScore — at 7-12 months after participants enrolled in the study, and a 6 percentage point increase in the attainment of a Prime credit score, the top tier of creditworthiness.
- Grameen America members were 13 percentage points more likely than their control group counterparts to report that they could afford to buy the things they needed.
- Over 95 percent of Grameen America members reported operating their own businesses 6 months after joining the program, an increase of 11 percentage points over the control group average.
“For many women, a loan from Grameen may be their first experience accessing formal financial services and can help build their financial identity. A good credit score is a vital asset for not only accessing credit, but also a mobile phone contract, renting an apartment, or applying for a mortgage.” said Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Community Development and Inclusive Finance, which made MDRC’s six-month report possible.
Read the full article about microfinance at MDRC.
Funding is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
Looking for a way to get involved?
A good way to complement your interest in Economic Dev is to connect with others. Check out these events, galas, conferences or volunteering opportunities related to Economic Dev.
Are you ready to give?
In addition to learning and connecting with others, taking action is a key step towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact for Economic Dev take a look at these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations or Projects.