Our Lady of the Lake Parish is embarking on a pilot project inspired by the Grameen Bank. Grameen Bank, primarily based in the third world, makes small “micro-loans” to people to help them successfully establish their own small business and thereby help to lift themselves out of poverty. Each person who receives a micro-loan must be part of a cohort of five other people who meet weekly with other similar cohorts to repay 1/52nd of the original loan. If the loan repayments are made weekly, at the end of the year the recipient can apply for another loan. The loan repayment rate for Grameen Bank is significantly better than for most other banks.

The Micro-Lending Program provides access to lending options for start-ups and small businesses in the Euclid and North Collinwood communities. The program has funded five loans, achieved a 100% online repayment rate thus far, and helped to develop a new network of loan recipients and engaged parishioners who work together to build capacity and increase access to resources and opportunities for success. For more information about OLL’s award-winning program, email Joe@OLLEuclidParish.org.