Posted by Edward Duiven

Microcredit is a program that the Valle Verde Rotary Club has enthusiastically supported for several years. This morning Daniel Stringham spoke to the Club on the status of the Microcredit activities, supported by the Club, in Sonora, Mexico. The concept of providing small loans to people in disadvantaged communities was first discussed by Friedrich Wilhelm, Raiffeisen, and Lysander Spooner and others in the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1976 the first modern microcredit institution, Grameen Ban, was found by Muhammad Yunus in Jobra, Bangladesh. Today’s talk focused on the success of the Rotary sponsored program in Sonora Mexico. The concept of microcredit is to provide small loans, in the neighborhood of $200.00 per individual, to a small group of four to six individuals, made up mostly of women, who want to start small businesses. The individual shares in their own success and the small group covers any members who struggle for one reason or another. Many small businesses have flourished using these small loans and 97.5% of the loans have been paid back on time and with interest. Over time, as the loans are paid back successfully, the individual may acquire a new loan for a larger amount. Due to the success of the Rotary microcredit programs to date Districts 5495 and 5500 are working to secure a $24,000.00 grant to initiate a new microcredit program in Sonora, Mexico. The program was wrapped up with the presentation by the Club of a check for $2,000 to aid in acquisition of the new grant.