Starting Business Enterprises

We encourage women to start business enterprises using one of the following two methods:

  • Through micro loans
  • Through Lending Circles

Following is an explanation of each approach.

Micro Loans

We have identified two possible organizations through which women may apply for micro loans. These organizations are Oikocredit.coop and Kiva.org.

(It is our current understanding that the interest rates through Oikocredit are lower than the interest rates through Kiva. However, since not all agencies service all geographic areas we are posting both of these as options at this time. As we learn about other organizations, we will post them, as well.)

If you are interested in learning about how micro loans work, please visit these links:

Click here for additional information on obtaining loans through Kiva and Oikocredit.

Lending Circles

In areas not served by Kiva and Oikocredit lending partners, we encourage women to form their own Lending Circles.  Groups of five to ten women are encouraged to form such a group.  Each woman will contribute a small amount of financial capital in her Lending Circle.  The Unity Women’s Desk will then match their funds.  These funds can then be loaned to the women of the Lending Circle.

The women will submit their business plans to their Lending Circle; the women will vote on who will receive the first loan; when the loan is repaid, they will vote on who receives the next loan.  As the Lending Circle grows and loans are repaid, the UWD will continue to match their funds and help them to grow their businesses.

Click here for additional information on forming Lending Circles.