Located in Gujarat, the slums Vasana and Johapura provide an infrastructure for the poor to transform themselves, their families and their communities. Loans are made to all entrepreneurs who have viable business models – regardless of race, sex, and religion. Because loans are provided to groups of four, the community is encouraged to collaborate but also to compete and build viable businesses.
The problem is that very little funding is available for slum entrepreneurs to scale their businesses. Also, when funding (loans) is made available, unrealistic conditions and very high interest rates are imposed. The objective of the loans is to ensure the entrepreneurs become successful business people. In turn they can give back to others in their communities and they can become role models for other potential up and coming micro-entrepreneurs. 100% of the funds are given to the slum entrepreneurs and a small interest fee of 12% is charged. This interest is used to fund the locals hired to administer the process. When the loans are paid back and milestones are met, the funds are recycled back into the community. Training and access to technology is also available. The loans are £100 plus, in order for the companies to succeed and scale.