Beyond the Headlines

Show topic: Microfinance

August 22, 2010
Hosted by ABC7's Cheryl Jennings

Today, California's unemployment rate is holding steady at 12.6 percent. While many employers are hiring, there are still vast numbers of people searching for work. Today's show looks at a way that helps people with limited resources "work for themselves" as entrepreneurs. It's a service called microfinance.

For many hard-working people, a solid economic foundation is simply out of reach. According to Opportunity Fund:

  • A single parent with two children in the Bay Area needs about $65,000 just to pay for basic necessities.
  • A minimum wage earner in California working 40 hours a week has an annual gross income of $16,640.
  • One in four Bay Area families are not self-sufficient, meaning they have to make daily tradeoffs between paying rent, buying food, and staying healthy.

Bay Area residents may apply for small loans with the Opportunity Fund by visiting their website at or by calling them toll-free at (866) 299-8173.

If you'd like to support microfinance, visit Opportunity Fund website and their partners for more information:

  • For as little as $25, see how your "loan" can help alleviate poverty in the US and around the world.
  • Match the hard-working wages of someone in the Bay Area or US saving to buy a first home or be the first in his/her family to go to college.

Studio Guests:

Eric Weaver
Founder & CEO
Opportunity Fund
(866) 299-8173

Simonida Cvejic
Founder & CEO
Bay Area Medical Academy

Additional Resources

Dial: 2-1-1
211 provides free and confidential information and referral. Dial 2-1-1 for help with food, housing, employment, health care, counseling and more.

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