The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

“I’ve got to pay my rent.  I’ve got to pay gas and electric.  I’ve got to take care of the kids.  I’ve got to make sure there’s food in the house, you know, make sure they got clothes, make sure they got shoes, and make sure I got bus fare to even get to work.  Trying to struggle and juggle all of that on one income that’s coming in the house is extremely hard. It’s extremely hard because I would like to do more for my girls give them everything, of course every parent would.  Every parent would want to do more. It hurts when I can’t get them the things that they would want. So hopefully eventually things will get better; I’ll get a better job or something.  Something has to give, right?  It can’t be this way forever.” 

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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