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2014-03-08

Milaap to raise $100,000 to help trafficked women start small businesses

Bangalore-based Milaap announced to raise $100,000 in loans this year for trafficked women in India via “The Hope Project,” a crowd lending initiative that will enable these women to become self-reliant entrepreneurs.

Bangalore-based Milaap announced to raise $100,000 in loans this year for trafficked women in India via “The Hope Project,” a crowd lending initiative that will enable these women to become self-reliant entrepreneurs.

 

“When women are self-reliant, their contribution to the economy is significant,” said Sourabh Sharma, Milaap co-founder and CEO. “Last year alone we helped over 2,000 women become independent small business owners.”

 

Unlike other online lending platforms, Milaap blends microlending with crowdfunding, giving investors from around the world the ability to both lend and/or create personal fundraisers for India's working poor. They mainly fund projects in six areas - education, enterprise, energy, sanitation, vocational training, and water.

 

Milaap funds and manages the loan cycle for these budding entrepreneurs through a strong network of field partners, who are rigorously vetted and must comply with Reserve Bank of India’s guidelines.

 

"Milaap pioneers a way for borrowers and lenders to come together and create change on a societal level,” said Sharma. “A single loan has a snowballing effect; what starts out as a modest investment in a micro business, in turn helps to keep kids in school, and ultimately contributes to the economy. That's real change."

 

The Hope Project is the result of collaboration between Milaap and the ASSET India Foundation, which provides women and their children rescued from trafficking with life skills and opportunities, the official website claims.

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