--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.