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Andy Posner wanted to bring microloans, a much-heralded form of aid in the developing world, to America's "underbanked" populations. When he established Capital Good Fund, it was with the notion that as in the developing world, the loans would be used to spur small-business growth.

What he discovered, though, was that the people he wanted to serve had a big need for plain old personal loans. If they wanted to put down a security deposit for an apartment or make a car repair, their only alternative was often predatory lenders. (I can attest to the difficulty of getting loans from my own personal experience, at the time when we were at our lowest point, financially, and also from the personal experience of my friends.) Getting into the personal lending business hadn't been his intention--but it was what his clientele really needed.

His story is a great example of actually *listening* to communities and not merely bestowing aid from on high: "Reconsidering the Need for Personal Loans," by Andy Posner: http://www.bostonfed.org/commdev/c&b/2015/spring/Posner-reconsidering-the-need-for-personal-loans.pdf

(For a version of the article with a brief video from Andy Posner, use this link: http://www.bostonfed.org/commdev/c&b/2015/spring/posner-reconsidering-the-need-for-personal-loans.htm)


Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
dudeshoes
Mar. 17th, 2015 03:51 pm (UTC)
Listening is so important. No one should assume they know what other people think or need.
asakiyume
Mar. 17th, 2015 05:40 pm (UTC)
Amen.
rachelmanija
Mar. 17th, 2015 05:30 pm (UTC)
The link doesn't work.
asakiyume
Mar. 17th, 2015 05:39 pm (UTC)
There's something wrong with how I'm doing my linking--the link works, but not when I try to make a hyperlink. I'm stumped regarding what the problem is, but if you click on it now, it should work.

rachelmanija
Mar. 17th, 2015 05:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Maybe because it's a pdf?
asakiyume
Mar. 17th, 2015 05:49 pm (UTC)
No; originally I was linking to the web page version of the article, here: http://www.bostonfed.org/commdev/c&b/2015/spring/posner-reconsidering-the-need-for-personal-loans.htm I only tried the PDF when I realized my hyperlink to the web page didn't work. But then the PDF didn't work either. Bah.

heliopausa
Mar. 20th, 2015 02:10 pm (UTC)
Brilliant to have the flexibility to change direction to what people actually needed, and also - even more - the humility to not be the person with all the answers, but to pay attention to the analysis at ground level.
asakiyume
Mar. 20th, 2015 03:41 pm (UTC)
I totally agree. Listening is so important.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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