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Extension Demonstration: Grameen Microfinance Methods And Capital Access For Low-Income Female Entrepreneurs, Mark A. Edelman
A nonprofit community development financial institution and Extension collaborated to conduct a demonstration project to evaluate efficacy of Grameen peer-group microfinance methodology in addressing barriers faced by lowincome women entrepreneurs in a small metro area. Program performance metrics achieved by 284 low-income, culturally diverse, primarily women entrepreneurs over five years included: a loan repayment rate of 99+ percent, increased average client income, savings accumulation at a local bank, and increased opportunities to improve average credit scores. Client surveys indicated peer-group methods, program structure, incentives for individual behaviors and group responsibilities provided opportunity to develop confidence, leadership skills, and teamwork.