Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Low interest loans for resourceful squatters
Finally, the banking world is waking up to opportunities in squatter communities. Brazil has started a new R$5 million program (approx. $2 million, U.S.) that will offer small business loans in Rocinha, the largest favela in Rio de Janeiro. Independent entrepreneurs can get microcredit loans of as little as R$50 (or $20) with no formal application required. Larger businesses can receive up to R$5,000 ($2,000 U.S.) The loans will run for one or two years, at 4 percent interest. Channeled through a subsidiary of the federally controlled Banco do Brasil, the money will reach the community through five non profit agencies. The Gazeta Mercantil reports, in Portuguese.