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Weak Economy Increases Need for Microloans

At Business Center for New Americans we are very aware of the devastating effect the ongoing economic downturn continues to have on small and micro businesses. The downturn has also increased recognition of the important role that microfinance can play in job creation by providing much needed credit and financial advice to those business owners.

"The country is not in a crisis. This is an emergency," Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, recently told ABC News.  Last year Schultz, who was featured by Forbes magazine as the 2011 Business Person of the Year, donated $5 million to jumpstart "Create Jobs for USA" which makes funds available for micro-finance organizations to lend to businesses. "There is a tremendous problem with small businesses in America getting access to credit, continued Schultz. "Right now we can’t wait for Washington. Businesses and business leaders have to recognize that we have a shared responsibility in trying to make a difference."

Recognition of the importance of microfinance is also growing in other industrial countries, as well. Citi Foundation visits BCNA to discuss microloansWe were recently honored with a visit from a delegation from the University of Madrid and the Nantik Lum Fundacion, organized by the Citi Foundation. The researchers and economists came to share their own experiences and learn from BCNA’s experience in working with micro-entrepreneurs. We are looking forward to on ongoing relationship in which we continue to share best practices. We are also very happy to be hosting an intern from the Nantik Lum Fundacion this fall!

We’ve also hosted delegations from France, United Kingdom, and even economic "powerhouse" Germany.

We hope microfinance organizations will continue to learn from each other in order to increase our ability to provide much needed credit to deserving small businesses.