–But are the poorest of the poor being served by and benefiting from microfinance in the US?–
Key study findings of a new report called “U.S. Microfinance: Small Loans, Big Results” (from Accion, Opportunity Fund, and the Aspen Institute) include:
1) *Microloans contribute to strong, sustainable small businesses.* Of small businesses financed in 2010, 97 percent reported that they were still in business in 2011.
2) *Microloans contribute to increases in small business owner take-home pay and business revenue.* 32 percent of small business owners surveyed reported an increase in owner’s draw and 36 percent indicated an increase in overall business revenue
3) *Accion supports small businesses primed for growth and ready to contribute to the local economy.* 43 percent of borrowers surveyed reported seeking a loan to grow their business, and nearly 70 percent reported that their businesses were full-time endeavors.
Originally posted on Accion U.S. Network:
Conducted in Partnership With the Aspen Institute, Accion and Opportunity Fund Report Highlights National Microbusiness Outcomes
(April 1, 2013 / New York, NY) – By providing small loans that average just $10,000 in the U.S., leading microlenders Accion and Opportunity Fund are significantly contributing to small business sustainability, as well as increases in income and job creation according to their microTracker lending outcomes study – U.S. Microfinance: Small Loans, Big Results – released today. The study, conducted in partnership with the Aspen Institute, highlights U.S. microloan recipients as key engines for job creation, with over 54 percent of survey respondents reporting having employees. Of those businesses with employees, each reported employing 5.6 individuals on average.
Four member organizations of the Accion U.S. Network, the largest microfinance network in the United States, conducted the survey in partnership with California microlender Opportunity Fund, to create the largest national sample of microloan borrowers in any lending outcomes study to date. Nearly 500 businesses participated in the study, painting a vivid picture of local microloan outcomes on a national scale. Key study findings include: