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Stetson University CHOMI
Center for Holistic Microcredit Initiatives
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CHOMI's Director's speech:

Microcredit is a socioeconomic process aimed at facilitating entrepreneurship among the poor through small loans and other business and socio- political support systems.

It assumes at the outset that:

The poor are no less capable than the affluent in developing a business, except that they lack finances and therefore access to commercial bank financing. Microcredit is therefore a loan program offering small loans to those who do not have access to bank credit. At the same time, the support structures, such as the chamber of commerce, available to established businesses, is absent among small start-ups, and therefore a holistic Microcredit program aims at providing support such as training, marketing and business acumen.

One may ask how the loan program survives without a system of financial collateral.
1. Microcredit operates on the virtue of trust: we believe that by trusting each other, people often prove to be trustworthy.

2. To facilitate trust and social responsibility:
a. loan seekers join other loan seekers in a peer group to support each other's business, share business ideas, and knowledge.
b. The peer group develops an intimate relationship of trust and accountability with the microcredit program.
c. The peer-group serves as a form of social collateral, meaning that when a member is unable to make a payment, they would support the member in whatever way necessary to ensure payment.

Someone once said that we are out of our minds to trust people in this fashion. Yes, we are glad to be out of our minds. For it does take a total transformation of our minds to facilitate a more caring society. In fact, repayment rates under such circumstances are greater than in commercial banks.

Our first loan group is: Vamp, Willie and Joe, who have taught us as much as we taught them
It truly takes a village to rear an entrepreneur, and I would like to thank and pay tribute to those students who have facilitated the progress of CHOMI thus far: Gary Westberry, Avantika Hari, Nsaa-iya Kihunrw; Nomalanga Grootboom, Cynthia Nicholson and Jason Lambert