Many of you may not know who Muhammad Yunus is, or what the Grameen Bank is, but this cat won a Nobel Prize yesterday for his system. Basically, it is a people-powered lending network that allows people to lend others in the community small amounts of money without requiring collateral like traditional loans. Instead, it has kind of a barter system approach, with the theory being that other things besides money have value.
My question is, could we pull this off in our own neighborhoods and communities here? Here are some benefits:
1. The money stays in the community longer and passes through more community members’ hands before leaving it (if it ever does).
2. Since most of the time we probably only need small loans (say, $100 or less) for day-to-day stuff, the anxiety of being in debt will be reduced.
3. It is a great way to combat gentrification.
I think this could really work. Could it?