A Little Loan Can Change the Tide

The Community Micro Lending Society based in Victoria is the place where individuals with bad credit, who find it very difficult to get loans from banks and other financial institutions. One of its clients is Rachael Brown, she is a physical therapist who used to own her spa in Gulf Island, she has moved to Victoria in hopes to find a new job and recover from her financial fiasco.

The founder of the institution, and now also a counselor, Lisa Helps, visited Ms. Brown back in 2010 herself in the women shelter she stayed in. the Community Micro Lending has allowed Brown to loan an amount of $5,000 and currently she owns her own spa and Soul Therapies business.

To get a loan, the applicant is going to be featured on the web through communitymicrolending.ca., the identity of those who lend their money  is kept hidden, but according to Helps, three or four people would be financing the loan. The minimum amount that a person can donate is $500.

The owner of Kenmar Flower Farms, Marian Fonter is one of over 20 mentors in the Community Micro Lending, she believes the agency withholds a sense of community in the agency.

The United Ways has been a very effective partner in keeping the agency open. It has been financing one third of the total expenses of the organization.

Helps aims to have 100 partners in their business as part of the “community supported economy” she has been planning for. The business partners would donate about $100 every month to the organization, for now only five companies has signed in with them. One of these businesses is The Cooperators.

The company also has a program for young adults which they call “Launch!” those ages 18 to 30 can be a part of the workshops that talks about developing business ideas. One of the effective scholars of the 10 week program is Sheena Graham, now 29; she was able to start her own Photography business.

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