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Upside/Downside: Getting and Profiting from Microcredit

Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 7:25 AM

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The economic crisis has turned America into a nation of savers, but interest rates on safe money market funds and bank accounts have plummeted. You'd be lucky to get over one percent these days. But what if you could earn as much as 5 or 6 percent on your cash, and, at the same time, do some good in the world? Welcome to this week's edition of Upside/Downside.

Part 1: Muhammed Yunus won a Nobel Prize for his idea that giving small loans to very poor people can help many start small businesses, and perhaps emerge out of poverty. It’s called microfinance. And, now a new website wants to help Americans make money off these loans. ideastream®’s Dan Bobkoff explains.

Part 2: That contractor you heard in Dan’s piece who got a microloan to keep his contracting business going is not alone.

An increasing number of small businesses that might have gotten a bank loan for their business last year are now turning to a local microlender as a last resort. The WECO fund is a nonprofit funded by government and private sources. Bob Schordock is the Director of the Microenterprise Center at the WECO Fund. He joined ideastream’s Eric Wellman in the second half of the segment.

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Economy, Regional Economy/Business - Analysis and Trends, Other, Community/Human Interest, Miscellaneous

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