I was listening to an early morning talk-back radio program on ABC where the host, Lisa Hampshire, was interviewing Professor Muhammad about the Grameen. I was fascinated to learn that this very large bank was set up, initially in Bangladesh, to lend working capital loans to the poorest of the poor. Since its inception in 1983, it has lent more than 2 billion dollars in tiny loans to millions of extremely poor people, largely to women. The bank reports over 98% loans repayments and a spectacular rise of its borrowers out of poverty. Today, there are more than 200 replications of this bank in 56 countries. Their collective corporate mission is to eradicate hunger and poverty from the face of the earth.
It impressed me so much that I immediately phoned the ABC and within two hours received an 8 page fax. I was so inspired by what I read that I decided to start a Grameen Bank replication on the Far South Coast of NSW to help the poor in our community. We cover an area from Shell Harbour to Eden. The objective is to provide microcredit for the purpose of self-employment and income generation to individuals who do not have collateral and therefore, are excluded by formal financial institutions. Priority will be given to women borrowers.
Anyone who wishes to join us in helping the poor in this way can become a member. Our present membership includes clubs, hotels, hospitals, schools, small businesses and local private individuals. Our lending-base is made up of deposits from our members. We pay 4% pa interest on these deposits. There is no minimum amount for deposits and withdrawals. All donations that we receive are treated as deposits.
Loans are strictly for the purpose of self-employment and income generation. The maximum loan is $1,000. No collateral or security is required. Those in greatest need will get the highest priority. Please call us, if you think you qualify for our loan.
This is a non-profit Operation. We charge as little interest as necessary to meet our costs.
In terms of legal technicalities, Ridgway Microcredit is incorporated as a private trust. The trustees reserve the right to accept or decline a membership request. we are in turn a member of the Grameen Bank Support Group (Australia) and have investment in Grameen Cash Management Trust.