MicroLoan Foundation to extend operations to America

A UK charity specialising in microfinance - the provision of small loans and advice to people living in poverty - is hoping to introduce the concept to the US.

The MicroLoan Foundation, which mainly supports women in sub-Saharan Africa, is to begin fundraising in the USA and plans to use its presence there to introduce the concept of microfinance to American donors.

The charity has appointed strategic consultant David Rice and fundraising consultant Brian Smith to work on a voluntary basis to set up a US branch of the foundation.

“Most Americans know very little about microfinance,” said Rice. “We hope a US branch of the foundation will educate Americans about the virtues of microlending as a development tool and open up new opportunities to raise money for the foundation's efforts in Africa and beyond.”

The foundation operates mainly in Malawi, though it is currently in the process of setting up an office in Zambia. It is also carrying out a feasibility study with a view to operating in Namibia.

The charity works to reduce poverty in Africa by providing small loans, basic business training and ongoing mentoring to groups of women with a view to enabling them to develop self-sustainable livelihoods.

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