Lutherans in the Twin Cities

A loan program of ‘interest’

A coalition of Lutheran churches, working with La Conexión de las Américas, in 2008 organized the Latino Loan Fund, with the mission of supporting low income Latino entrepreneurs who are creating or improving the Latino business community.

Miguel Sanchez received an interest-free business loan of $2,000 from the Latino Loan Fund to obtain a new refrigerator for his business, Del Sol Floreria, located in Mercado Central, 1515 East Lake Street, in Minneapolis. He is a participant in a financial program at La Conexión de las Américas. Photo provided by Franklin Briceño

The fund for these loans was started with a $1,000 grant from the contributing churches: St. John’s Lutheran, Holy Trinity Lutheran, Saint Paul Lutheran, Minnehaha Communion Lutheran, and Lutheran Church of Christ the Redeemer, all located in south Minneapolis. These loans operate on a “good faith” payment plan and have been able to maintain a default rate below five percent of all dollars loaned.

The Latino Loan Fund issues no-interest micro-loans from $500-$2,500 to eligible entrepreneurs in the metro wide area. To date, the fund has issued a total of $28,000 in loans to 15 entrepreneurs, who have started 15 businesses creating 18 jobs. These micro-loans are issued to qualified graduates of a training program managed by La Conexión de las Américas.

Micro-loan programs like the Latino Loan Fund require ongoing financial support for growth. With a three-year track record, the coalition of Lutheran churches is now seeking additional partners.

To schedule a presentation for a congregation or community group, contact Franklin Briceño 612/276-0788, ext. 6, or send an email to franklin.briceno@americas.org.

To donate to the Latino Loan fund, visit its website at http://www.latinoloanfund.org/.

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