If you've been keeping up with recent economic news, here's a familiar statistic: small businesses are responsible for 70 percent of job creation in the U.S.
Through financing small businesses, microloans are an important factor here -- something every American should keep in mind as job growth continues to stall. Last March, FIELD at the Aspen Institute released a study of 240 clients who had received micro-loans and training from 35 groups nationwide between 2002 and 2007. The study found that the average client more than doubled their revenue - from $103,000 to $243,000 - while the average number of employees skyrocketed from 2.1 to 5.6 within five years.
Of course, micro-loans are not a panacea for unemployment and not right for all communities. And despite increased access to capital, businesses can fall short in the absence of the right support and financial education. But with organizations across the industry working ever more closely with borrowers and their local communities, micro-finance has the potential to create lasting change in America, and it's up to us to see it reach its fullest potential.
With each new piece of legislation that comes up, we ask every official to consider its impact on small business owners. And we encourage government support for domestic micro-loan programs, which can be particularly effective and efficient in helping to create jobs. Here's how:
(Pictured in headline: Stephanie Mack's document destruction business provides a steady source of employment for herself and her team of Bronx, NY-based employees.)