Micro Lending for Macro Jobs
by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.
Right around 9% of workers are unemployed.i This does not tell the entire story, as only 4.2% of college graduates are unemployed, compared to 14% who did not finish high school. North Carolina has the 7th highest rate of unemployment in the country, at 10.5%.ii
Simultaneously, Banks and Credit Unions have basically reduced lending to anyone except those with the highest credit ratings. Even entrepreneurs who have college educations and good credit ratings find it difficult to get a loan, and those entrepreneurs without higher education, and owning a bruised credit history are finding it impossible. And our whole society loses, because without available capital, job de…
Small Loans to the Poor Yield 99% Payback Rate
Micro-Credit Institution Offers “High Risk,” Job Creating,
by Jon Kennedy
Grameen America has developed a system that successfully creates small business entrepreneurs within impoverished United States neighborhoods. Although the borrowers often lack prior business knowledge before entering the program, of those participating, 99% pay back their loans in full.  In a time of widening income gaps, microcredit is proving itself to be an effective tool in improving standards of living and emotional well-being, particularly for those usually considered poor risks for capital to start new job-creating companies in areas of high unemployment.
Microcredit is the extension of very small loans (…
(Content modified from an article in Parade January 24, 2010)[i],
and the Farmers Fresh website.)
Centralization and the apparent need for large economy of scale have led to the disappearance of the small farm. In 1959, the U.S. was home to 4.1 million farms. Today, there are just 2.2 million. Some 40% of American farmers are 55 or older, and young people aren’t exactly lining up to replace them. But a new program in North Carolina hopes to make farming a viable career option once again.
Rutherford County, N.C., has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Yet some 6000 families own between 5 and 20 acres of land, and chefs in nearby Charlotte, N.C., ar…