Here’s some good news to start 2008 with.
RWN has finalized a partnership with a local bank that will double the amount of loan funds available for our microenterprise program participants.
A more formal announcement will be forthcoming, but it's such good news I did want to post about it sooner rather than later.
Essentially, RWN will make the first loan to the entrepreneurial client. Upon successful repayment of that first loan, we will refer that client to the bank for subsequent loans of up to $30,000.
We are very excited about this, because this moves clients into a relationship with a mainstream bank, it builds the clients’ credit histories (RWN does not make the minimum of 500 loans a year to be able to report to the credit bureaus), and it enables us to use our loan funds to serve new clients.
Most of all, it is a business partnership with a mainstream financial institution. This bank entered this agreement because it makes good business sense to them. They also know that we will do the initial vetting and since RWN's microloan program has a zero default rate, they feel comfortable working with our clients.
It is also reinforces what we've know all along -- refugee and immigrant women are rebuilding their lives, supporting their families, and growing the US economy. Refugee and immigrant women entrepreneurs are part of the economic engine of the US!
What a great way to start the new year!