"But wait!" you say. "It wasn't that easy anyway!"

But the already difficult challenge of becoming financially independent through starting your own business is increased in countries with higher rates of poverty and no access to financial support like a bank.
Find out more.
...but what if you were someone who didn't have all of the advantages that you did?
You had a plan, you executed it, and you tasted sweet success...
But wait, it's not that
easy to begin with!
You can't believe you actually did it!
This can only lead to better things!
Small businesses that can survive
the first few years often thrive
in the long-term.
A couple of months later, your business is booming. You were able to get more inventory than you expected due to the bank loan, and you were able to make enough to pay it off in full!
93.1% of small businesses have
annual revenues of less than
$250,000, and 57.1% have revenues of
less than $25,000.
But ambition doesn't buy inventory. So you head to the bank and take out a loan to start yourself off.
While big banks are extremely useful
in starting to obtain financial
stability, they only serve a portion
of the world. Learn more.
You're a young, ambitious woman from the USA.
With all of your energy and ideas, you decide to start a small business.
Today, 30% of small businesses
are owned by women, compared
to 5% in 1970.
You're a young woman living in a country with a high rate of poverty. But that isn't going to stop you from bettering your own life and opening your own small business.
In addition to financial instability,
many women in such countries must
overcome unequal rites--both in
business and in society.
But, since you don't have any access to a bank,
and not enough money to start on your own,
you've found yourself at an impasse.
Even if large banks are present, many
refuse to loan to those in areas of
high poverty due to them being
classified as "high risk" lenders.
You try to persevere anyway, but without any financial help, your business stagnates.
Tumbleweeds are actually the
physical manifestation of crushed
hopes and dreams.
So what can be done about this?
Go to the next page to find out!
One of the answers is microfinance.
"But what's microfinancing?" you ask. It's really quite simple.
Microfinance is a blanket term used to describe financial services to low-income individuals, including those who do not have access to a bank service.
But it's not just the mechanics of it; it's the concept that these low-income individules are able to lift themselves out of poverty if given access to these services.
Instead of big banks, the lenders are people--tons and tons of them--making small loans instead of one big one.
But what makes microfinance useful?
Microfinance is by no means a total fix--it's one method of many, and doesn't work in every situation.
However, it has been shown to help poor households meet basic needs and protect against risk, allowing them to become more financially independent and increase their standard of living.
Institutions like Kiva.org have helped people in over 200 countries get funding for their needs, be it expanding businesses, furthering their education, or improving their living conditions. With a repayment rate of 98.97%, there are numbers that back the concept of the success of microfinance.
Want to learn even more?
Click here to
go to Kiva.org.
Thanks for
Info and stats from Kiva.org and
Rithotlz.com. Website, graphics,
and code are copyright
© 2012 Emily Kardamis.