There aren’t many B1G1 Worthy Causes that have a rock star for a patron, but the MicroLoan Foundation does. Working in partnership with their sister organization in England, MicroLoan Foundation Australia has Bob Geldof serving as their patron. The activist-songwriter even narrates a video about the Foundation on YouTube.
Brian Keen is the Founder and Chairman of MicroLoan-Australia. He points with pride to a lending record that any of the big banks would be proud of:
Although our clients have virtually no income, and no collateral. MicroLoan manages to recover 99% of all the loans it makes, with interest, so that the money can be recycled over and over again.
In today’s economy, the microfinance concept is a simple and effective way of confronting the desperate situation the world’s poor find themselves in. MicroLoan Foundation Australia offers small loans and business training to help women set up and build their businesses, generate profits, and earn their way out of poverty over time. Some of the loans are as little as $50, and they’re repayable over 4 to 12 months.
There’s a good reason for that. Before they make their first loan to any client, MicroLoan provides eight business training sessions, and each loan is tailored to correspond with the individual’s personal circumstances and their business plan.
It’s fair to say the microfinance concept is really catching on, particularly in the business community.
The microfinance concept is successful because its sponsors have realized that different people in different places have different problems.
The beauty of these loans is that recipients can use them any way they want, wherever they see a business opportunity in their communities. The common factor and universal success of the program is that it puts food on an otherwise empty table.
And the reviews are in. These small businesses are having a remarkable effect around the planet, empowering women to learn new skills, improving their self esteem, and inspiring the next generations of daughters.
MicroLoan’s involvement with B1G1 has helped raise their profile as well. Brian Keen told us,
We are indeed thrilled with the significant contributions we receive through our association with B1G1. It’s a marvellous model to really demonstrate the Power of Small.