The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

“I filed for disability for my daughter and of course that takes at least four to six months to even go through.  So once I do that, then a lot of things will change.  They will take my food stamps away so it’s like I can’t win.  They give me the help with her, but at the same time they’re taking food out of my house because I have extra income, because they think that I have more because there’s more money coming in that I don’t need—my food stamps, as much as they give me, which is nowhere near true.”

Micro-lending

Many of the women of Witnesses are entrepreneurs who run informal businesses (i.e. hair/makeup business, catering, childcare) to make ends meet.  With so few job opportunities available, turning this informal work into legitimate businesses is an important strategy for families trying to escape economic insecurity.  Though the idea of offering micro-loans to help low-income women start income-generating business started in the developing world, its popularity has grown in the U.S.

Current Issue

While several organizations in Philadelphia offer micro-loans to middle and lower-income entrepreneurs, those living in deep poverty - as TANF recipients are - often get left out of these business financing opportunities.  Philadelphia could offer micro-loans and discounted business licenses to low-income individuals who want to join the formal economy.

 

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