Miami-based OUR Microlending said Monday that it has received certification as a Community Development Financial Institution by CDFI Fund — a program of the U.S. Department of Treasury — and has received a $600,000 grant to be disbursed via microloans to small business owners in South Florida.
For more than six years OUR Microlending has offered financial education and microloans. Many of the entrepreneurs who receive the loans have considered a conventional bank loan but have no credit history, suitable credit scores or meet any of the necessary prerequisites, OUR Microlending said. Loans range from $1,500 to $20,000 with an average payout of $9,000, and are awarded based on the needs of each microentrepreneur and the payback capacity of the business, not the borrower’s personal credit.
OUR Microlending said the ideal candidates/businesses are individuals or companies with low to moderate income, mainly women and minorities, who do not have access to traditional financial services. These entrepreneurs work from home, as street vendors, or own small shops, and want to grow their business, establish or re-establish their credit history and ultimately become part of the financial system. OUR Microlending said it serves businesses in varying industries: construction (including plumbers, electricians, contractors, etc.), restaurants, beauty salons and transportation services, among others.