"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.
You can't believe you actually did it!
This can only lead to better things!
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!
But ambition doesn't buy inventory. So you head to the bank and take out a loan to start yourself off.
You're a young, ambitious woman from the USA.
With all of your energy and ideas, you decide to start a small business.
So, you want to start a small business.
That's great! But are you:
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.
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.
You try to persevere anyway, but without any financial help, your business stagnates.
So what can be done about this?
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.