Micro-loan funding rewards entrepreneurs

It’s time Canada began funding micro-credit for the world’s poorest

As tax time approaches and I gather the information needed to perform this annual civic duty, I’m reminded just how complex it is managing finances in a modern economy.

People everywhere struggle with the same issues of how to keep track of what comes in, what goes out, what was saved and what is owed.

From a young age, most learn this responsibility. For a long time now, Canada’s federal government has resisted funding micro-credit – tiny loans given to help the poor achieve economic self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship.

Canada’s reluctance has hinged around the notion that the very poor are in no position to handle money when they are struggling to survive. So the poor are denied the power and responsibility the rest of us take for granted in managing our finances.

But the new face of micro-credit involves a system called Graduation. The program first stabilizes the individual with basic food, medicine, shelter, then teaches them how to manage money.

Only when the client proves readiness is a micro-loan dispersed. Success rates with these new approaches are higher than 90 per cent.

As Canada’s concern is now being addressed, it’s time we began funding micro-credit for the world’s poorest.

Nathaniel Poole