Inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, BISC Microlending was established in 2020 in Chicago, IL. Our goal is to empower communities all over the world and allow people to improve their lives, one loan at a time.
Our mission is to provide microloans to vulnerable communities and educate youth about the causes and consequences of poverty in order to create a more prosperous world.
To mitigate the poverty crisis by ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to obtain both fiscal and social independence while maintaining cultural values and human dignity. We also aim to instill a moral duty in the youth of today, motivating them to become the microlenders of tomorrow.
BISC Microlending is an organization that microloans funds to vulnerable populations such as refugees and those in extreme poverty. After traveling to southern Africa and witnessing families living in impossible conditions, Julian Cohen (founder and president of BISC Microlending) was inspired to create a charitable entity to help improve their living conditions. BISC Microlending uses Kiva.org as a platform to select recipients for the loans. We chose Kiva as our loan vehicle because we felt it was imperative that every dollar we raised was going entirely to each recipient. Recipients are selected based upon their ability to make an immediate impact in their community. Using a microloan platform allows us to re-use funds that are repaid by recipients, promoting their independence, and providing exponential lending opportunities.
What is Microlending and Why is it Important?
“Microlending is a form of financing that provides small amounts of money to typically very poor fledgling entrepreneurs to encourage self-sufficiency and to end poverty – particularly in developing countries. The funds that they receive through microlending programs are used to start businesses.”
Microlending provides needed resources to the financially underserved who typically would be unable to receive such a loan. Without Microlending, these groups are more likely to resort to taking out riskier loans that could impede their success. The funds allow recipients to start businesses or invest in their communities. Moreover, microfinance borrowers are often women, in fact, 84% of loans in 2016 were given to women. Microlending is particularly beneficial to women in that it can help them break the poverty cycle and gain financial independence.