picThe financial institution OUR Microlending announced its certification as a Community Development Financial Institution (by CDFI Fund – a program of the U.S. Department of Treasury) as well as a $600,000 grant to be disbursed via microloans to small business owners, which will create new opportunities, jobs and stronger communities throughout South Florida.

For more than six years OUR Microlending has offered financial education and microloans for small-unbanked organizations developing programs for community advancement. Most of these individuals have their own business, been in the market for more than 3 years, have less than five employees, report less than $400,000 in annual sales, operate solely via cash transactions, have no financial knowledge and many are Hispanic immigrants. Although they work arduously they are still struggling to meet their family’s basic needs. They recognize opportunities of growth for their business but are unable to acquire the necessary capital to do so; they deplete their savings, live off loans from friends and family, which ultimately becomes too overwhelming and drives them straight into the hands of creditors. Many of these microentrepreneurs have considered a conventional bank loan but have no credit history, suitable credit scores or meet any of the necessary prerequisites.

“We are extremely proud to have been awarded this CDFI Fund assistance because we can continue helping entrepreneurs with good ideas, increasing loan levels. We are strongly committed to our customers and the low-income communities. Our work reinforces our goal of building alternative and accessible sources of credit and innovative solutions to offer equal-opportunity financial growth to all South Florida residents. Our loans range from $1,500 to $20,000 with an average payout of $9,000, which are awarded based on the needs of each microentrepreneur and the payback capacity of the business, not their personal credit. The overall analysis is performed based on the business,” said Emilio Santandreu, CEO of OUR Microlending.

The ideal candidates/businesses for OUR Microlending are: Individuals or companies with low to moderate income, mainly women and minorities, who do not have access to traditional financial services. These entrepreneurs work from home, as street vendors, or own small shops. They aspire to grow their business, establish or re-establish their credit history and ultimately become part of the financial system. OUR Microlending serves businesses in varying industries: construction (i.e. plumbers, electricians, contractors, etc.), restaurants, beauty salons and transportation services, among others.

About OUR Microlending: OUR Microlending is a specialized financial institution aimed at community development (CDFI Fund Certified, U.S. Department of Treasury) dedicated exclusively to serving the financial needs of microentrepreneurs through microloans and microfinances. The term microfinance refers to financial services that meet the needs of those small businesses that do not qualify for mainstream financial system services. Our main objective is to offer specialized and top-quality services, supported by excellent human resources and technologies, to successfully fulfill the expectations of our clients, employees and shareholders. The core of our business approach is the CUSTOMER; understanding the essence of their needs, being familiar with their socio-economic environment, offering credit programs and technical assistance to help them obtain financial services that promote economic and social development in their communities.

For more information or to apply go to: http://ourmicrolending.com/ 

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