Title

A Latina Group-Lending Model

Publication Date

2001

Abstract

This paper examines aspects of micro-enterprise loan-lending programs for effectiveness within the United States' Latina community. The key issue is how a micro-lending program (such as WomenVenture's) can incorporate Latina cultural characteristics successfully within the Latina community. Nine Latina women were interviewed in the Twin Cities metro area, in Minnesota, to share their thoughts on business planning and lending practices in the U.S. A questionnaire was used in the structured interviews focusing on money issues and lending philosophies. The purpose was to reveal cultural issues in business planning and loan-lending practices. The interviewees recommended changes in the current WomenVenture lending practices that would make them feel more comfortable with the process of borrowing money to establish their own businesses. Aspects of the individual loan-lending and group-lending models were used to analyze the data provided by the research participants, and a new group-lending model was proposed. It was concluded that a group approach to business planning may match the Latina cultural characteristics better than the current WomenVenture individual loan-lending model. The data collected supports various cultural characteristics, including emphasis on collective orientation, cooperation, and interpersonal relations, all of which are characteristics found in a group planning approach. The findings of this paper are useful for business planning and loan-lending organizations, in Minnesota and throughout the United States, that are trying to incorporate the growing Latina population in their outreach efforts.

Disciplines

Public Economics | Women's Studies

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