The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

“This is the typical city for you: the hot dogs, snacks, ice creams. I try to give it to them every now and then, to capture the moment. Kids want things. Kids see stuff like this and they want to run over and get snacks and ice creams. But you can’t afford it, because you’re on one income and a budget. I captured that moment, just the typical city neighborhood, and things that are costly for a single parent: ice cream trucks. I would love for my kids to have that type of stuff, but when you’re only on one income, you’ve got to limit to certain things.”


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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