Issue No. 65 - June/July 2012
Microfinance: from small acorns...
by Joanna White
At National Australia Bank (NAB), we know SMEs are the engine room of our economy and critical to the success of Australia’s economy.
We recognise we have an important role to play in supporting small businesses turn ideas into reality. But we also understand accessing affordable business credit can be a daunting exercise with few or no avenues available to those on low incomes.
New research commissioned by NAB and prepared in conjunction with the Centre for Social Impact has found it’s not just businesses that benefit from the availability of funds, and highlights the wide ranging economic benefits of microfinance.
The report found that supporting small businesses through microfinance loans generates strong returns and make a real and meaningful difference to the Australian economy.
Starting and running a small business can be an exciting and rewarding time. NAB microenterprise loans from $500 to $20,000 can be provided to people on low incomes with limited or no avenues to affordable business credit to help start up or support businesses with five or less employees.
The unsecured business loans are provided on a notfor- profit basis and offered at a fixed interest rate of 5.99% with up to a three-year repayment period and a 90-day interest and repayment free access period.
The program works in partnership with a variety of organisations that provide a variety of training, mentoring programs and small business advice to the loan recipients. They also play a key role in the loan program by identifying, supporting and encouraging suitable applicants.
Teresa McDowell, founder of organic hempseed oil skin and body care range Hemp Hemp Hooray, is one of many South Australian business owners who have benefited from a NAB Microenterprise Loan.
Cash flow issues in the initial stages of Teresa’s business prevented her from increasing stock levels to cater for ...