MicroPlace Launches First Microfinance Investment Yielding 5 Percent for Everyda...

Feb 2009
San Jose, United States, February, 17 2009 - MicroPlace, a website that enables everyday people to invest in the world's working poor, announced today the launch of a new investment opportunity that offers a 5 percent return, a first in the microfinance investment industry for everyday investors.

Through MicroPlace (www.microplace.com), anyone can make microfinance investments that lift people from poverty and offer a 5 percent rate of return. Investors don't have to compromise their financial goals to help people escape poverty. By visiting MicroPlace, people can invest as little as $20 and have the opportunity to earn 5 percent interest. With money market funds currently offering an average of 1 percent(1) and the stock market yielding negative returns over the past year, MicroPlace investments offer a healthier return while simultaneously making a positive impact in the world.

"This is about enabling individuals to address social problems and make a difference through investing instead of philanthropy. In our current economic environment, this is important because people can put their money to work while doing good," said Ashwini Narayanan, general manager of MicroPlace. "Unlike a donation, investment funds are available at maturity, multiplying the impact they can make."

The 5 percent investment opportunity listed on MicroPlace is offered by MicroCredit Enterprises (www.mcenterprises.org), a nonprofit organization committed to reducing poverty by providing small loans to the working poor around the world. MicroCredit Enterprises currently finances microloans in 15 nations on four continents. Women are the recipient of 89 percent of its microloans.

"Investors with MicroCredit Enterprises and MicroPlace realize the greatest return in the world is the chance to lift a person out of poverty," said Jonathan C. Lewis, founder and chief executive officer of MicroCredit Enterprises. "Earning a fair financial return is a bonus."

Microfinance has been recognized worldwide as a simple but powerful tool that enables the poor to pull themselves out of poverty. Most commonly, it involves making small loans - as little as $20 - to the working poor in developing countries. The loans are used to establish or expand small businesses that generate additional income for the family, enabling them to buy food, access healthcare, educate their children, put aside savings and lay the foundation for a better future.

According to The World Bank(2), 1.2 billion people subsist on less than $1 per day. MicroPlace is committed to charting a whole new course to end poverty for these individuals. Around the world, more than 130 million(3) hardworking impoverished entrepreneurs have benefited from microfinance while nearly 1 billion could benefit if given the opportunity. Every investment through MicroPlace takes a step toward meeting that need.


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