NAB Micro-Enterprise Study
14 December 2006 at 9:38 am
A National Australia Bank– sponsored study into affordable micro-enterprise lending has found that thousands of micro businesses are unable to obtain funding from mainstream lenders.
The study conducted by The Boston Consulting Group on a pro bono basis, the study, Establishing a Microenterprise Development and Loans Program in Australia, estimates that between 6,000 and 12,000 potential new micro-businesses require funding each year but are unable to obtain it from mainstream lenders.
The report profiles local and international experience with providing loans to people on low incomes and with few assets who may have great business ideas but limited options when it comes to accessing affordable credit.
National Australia Bank has begun developing a specialised product to deliver affordable small loans to financially disadvantaged micro-enterprises based on this research.
The study explored how finance of up to $20,000 could help establish or develop small business enterprises that would otherwise have little or no chance to thrive.
NAB Chief Executive Officer Australia Ahmed Fahour says NAB is passionate about supporting financially vulnerable Australians who have great business ideas. This is not just about meeting a social responsibility – it is about NAB wanting to help Australians fulfil their aspirations.
He says that while NAB builds the product it is looking for appropriate pilot locations and business literacy programs with a view to launching the loans early in 2007.
He says this is a natural progression for NAB, building on its support for low-income householders through its flagship StepUP loan program developed with the Good Shepherd Youth and Family Service and our support for No Interest Loan Schemes (NILS®).
In April, NAB committed $30 million over three years to delivering small, affordable loans – microfinance – to people who are unable to access credit from mainstream financial services companies.