SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A daycare provider needed cribs and high chairs. A coffee truck needed a generator. A couple renting party supplies needed to move into a storefront.
When these Silicon Valley small businesses needed cash, and fast, they didn't find help at a bank. They turned instead to a type of financing more commonly associated with buying a sewing machine for a Guatemalan tailor or a tractor for an African farmer.
Microlending, a decades old form of financing for the world's poorest, is now booming in Silicon Valley.
The region leads the country for microlending as a growing echelon of would-be businesspersons who can't qualify for traditional bank loans meets money from cash-rich techies and firms who want to donate in innovative ways.