HOMELESS AROUND OUR CORNER IN CAPE TOWN and unemployed workers from townships can benefit too from microloans identical to those implemented by Nobel Laureate Muhammed Yunus.
Although this article is about what became institutionalized microfinance, it didnt start that way.
One can also implement this on a personal one to one level at very little risk, experience has shown some of us . But it needs connection and relationship and observation on and individual basis
Excerpt from interview with Muhammad Yunus Nobel Laureate
MY: Four years back, we started a program exclusively for beggars. Because many people are arguing that the poorest people don't have the capacity to go into business, earn money. I always argued the other way. I said, "All human beings are born entrepreneurs. Some get a chance to unleash that capacity. Some never got the chance, never knew that he or she has that capacity."
So in order to address the debate, I thought we should demonstrate it. So we came up with this idea. Why don't we focus on the beggars? So we go to the beggars and explain, "As you go from house to house, would you take some merchandise with you, some cookies, some candy, some toys, some sweets?" And then you give people option [of] whether they will give you something as charity or they will buy something from you. It's up to them to decide.
Today we have 100,000 beggars in that program. Typical loan for beggars is in the neighborhood of 12 to 15 dollars. Over four years, the loan that we have given out to them, more than half that money has already been paid back. It's a non-interest bearing loan. You don't have to pay the interest so that you don't worry about money growing in your hand. It won't grow, so take your time. Only thing is, if you pay us back fully you get more money.
The point here is, I could have given them 12 or 15 dollars as a gift, as a charity. Would they have paid back? Would they have created this? More than 10,000 of them out of 100,000 have stopped begging completely. They are now door-to-door salespersons. The remaining 90 percent, I can probably say that they are part-time beggars, in the process of kind of closing down their begging division and concentrating on their sales division of their work.
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