In the 1970s an Economics professor from Bangladesh, Muhammed Yunis, created the Grameen Bank Project. The program offered micro loans, some as small as $30, to poverty stricken regions in an effort to better their living conditions through entrepreneurship. Grameen’s has provided more than 8 million loans. A remarkable 97% of its borrowers are females from rural villages with no education. Their loans are approved by peer groups with a 98% recovery rate. In 2006 Dr. Yunnis won the Nobel Prize for his micro-enterprise efforts.
The Founders of PSE witnessed first hand the power of peer lending and micro loans while traveling through Bangladesh. The success of Grameen inspired our Peer Lending Program, which is designed for individuals who aren’t in business yet or have been in business for less than two years but haven’t been keeping their records and can’t complete a direct loan application.
Entrepreneurial and Financial Literacy Training are combined with peer-evaluated business loans of $1000 to $5000. Peer group members, who all serve as officers in the group, make lending decisions collectively. This collaborative method of inclusion empowers clients who might have been previously felt marginalized or lacked the confidence to take on a leadership role. Peer-to-peer support and networking opportunities are also provided. The Peer Lending Program requires no credit or collateral and is available to qualified residents of Miami Dade and Broward Counties.