Microfinance on the Border

EnComún Microcredit Group in Nogales, Mexico
An EnComún microcredit group conducts its bi-weekly meeting.

Microfinance has received a lot of attention lately, especially after the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Grameen Bank and its founder, Muhammad Yunus.

EnComún microcredit in Mexico
Maura Armenta has worked as a hair-stylist for many years. With her loan she was able to open her own hair salon in her home.

CRS has been involved in microfinance since 1988, helping to empower poor people, especially women, by providing access to financial services – ranging from credit and savings to insurance.

Several years ago, we helped to establish a micro-lending project in Nogales, Mexico with our partner, Border Links. That pilot has blossomed into an independent non-profit, EnComún de la Frontera, that operates in the border communities of Nogales and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. It lends between $100 and $600 to entrepreneurs who want to start or expand small businesses. Participants organize themselves into groups of 10 to 15 people, and members of the group are responsible to each other for paying back their loan.

The Arizona Daily Star profiled EnComún earlier this week: Micro-lending effort in Mexico helps poor families stay home.

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