San Francisco, CA -- Wells Fargo, the banking empire who recently purchased Wachovia Bank, is investing $1 million into Grameen America - a non-profit microfinance organization that gives low income entrepreneurs access to EQ2 (Equity-Equivalents) loans. They also help with business credit establishment and other financial services.
An EQ2 loan is a limited below market rate loan reserved for community development organizations and businesses. Grameen America has provided nearly 3,000 of these loans to entrepreneurs living below the federal poverty line. They have loaned out over $5 million in loan capital.
The high repayment rate of over 99% is a testament to the program's success. All loans are provided in the peer-lending model and each loan is spent on starting or expanding an existing business.
Wells Fargo's EQ2 investment will help Grameen America launch its operations in the San Francisco Bay Area beginning this summer. Grameen America currently has three branches in New York City and a fourth in Omaha, Nebraska. Additional expansion plans include Charlotte, Boston, and Washington, D.C.
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