A new loan program invests in new Mainers with small business ideas

Cindy Apt

US WHY THIS PROGRAM IS A CHAMPION FOR THE IMMIGRANT COMMUN ITY. 20 “YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO FARO T TRY FOOD FROM AROUND THE WORLD RIGHT HERE IN MAINE.. WITH AUTHENTIC COLOMBI AN FOOD SERVED RIGHT HERE AT MAIZ IN BRUNSWICK.” <NAT POP> 14;38;25 “AREPA.. <TIM’S VOI> CE ‘AREPA’.. YEAH HAHAHA.” 14;38;29 NIKY WALTER AMARIS OWNS 2 MAIZ RESTURANT LOCATNSIO AND A FOOD TRUCK WITH HIS WIFE MARTH A. THEY WERE LIVING IN THE CAMEN ISLANDS.. MOVING TO PORTLANDN I 20-17. 7 NTMOHS LATER.. THE PAIR KICK- STARTED THEIR RESTURANT BUSINESS MAIZ. NIKY SAYS IT NIKY WATLER AMARIS / MAIZ RESTURANT OWNE IMMIGRANYOT U DON’T HA VE CREDIT HISTORY I..F U GO YO TO A BANK NOBODY KNOWS YOU.” THANKS TO A NEW MICROLOAN PROGRAM CALLED THE INDUS FUND.. MEANT SPECIFICALLY FOR FIRST GENERATI ON IMMIGRANTS IN MAINE.. NI AKYND MARTHA GOT A 10,000- DOLLAR LOAN TO OPEN A FOOD TRUCK AND EXPAND THEIR BRAND. SERVING AREPAS AND OTHER COLUMBIAN DISHES AT SCHEDULED EVENTS. <S OT NIKY WATLER AMARIS / MAIZ RESTURANT OWNER> 14;25;20 “YOU HAVE TO GI VE YOUR MAXIMUM IF YOU REAL LY WANT TO SUCCEED.” C-PORT CREDIT UNION IS THE ONLY LOCATION THAT OFFERS INDUS FUND LOANSO T IMMIGRANTS IN MAINE. THE MAXIMUM LOAN OFFERED IS 10,000 DOLLARS, WITH A FE IV YEAR REPAYMENT PLAN AT A 3.5 PERCENT FIXED INTEREST RATE. BRANCH MANAGER, HONORINE UWISHEMA SAYS BUSINESS IDEAS RANGE FROM BEAUTY SHOPS.. TO COFFEE SHOPS TO HOME CARE. <SOT HONORINE UWISHEMA / BRANCH MANAGER AT CPORT CREDIT UNION> 12;14;43 “SOME OF THEM WERE ALREADY BUSINESS OWNERS BACK HOME, SO IT’S GOOD THAT THEY WANT TO CONTINUE THAT HERE IN MAE.” IN INDUS FUND RECIPIENT MIMIE MOBESHA RUNS A GROCERY STORE IN PORTLAN. D. THAT PROVIDES AFRICAN CUISINE. <SOT MIMIE MOBESHA / OW NS MIMIO’S BOUTIQUE> 11;17;51 <TALIA> “HOW DO YOUR CUSTOMERS FEEL ABOUT BEING ABLE TO HA VE ACCESS TO THAT KIND OF FOOD HERE IN MAINE?” 11;17;55 <MIMIE> “THEY ARE VERY HAPPY.” <BUTT> 11;17;58 “AND THEN THEY REQUEST MORE.” MIMIE SPEAKS FIVE LANGUAGES.. WHICH SHE SAYS MAKEST I EASIER TO UNDERSTAND WHAT HER CUSTOMERS NE. ED SHE SAYS SHE DECIDED TO OPEN THE BUSINESS SO HER ELDERLY FATHER WOULD NOT HAVE TO WORK A STRENUOUS JOB. <SOT MIMIE MOBESHA / OWNS MIMIO’S BOUTIQUE> 11;20;35 “I THINK ‘S HE GOING TO BE OKAY LIKE THIS D ANLIVE LONGER INSTEAD OF HAVING TOO MUCH STRESS.” 11;20;46 “IT’S LIKE A GIFT FROM ME FOR MY DAD.” INDUS FUND FOUNDER KEREM DURD AG SAYS HE CAME UP WITH THE IDEA.. IN ORDER TO HELP CREATE GENERATIONAL WEALTH FOR ALL MAINER S. <SOT KEREM DURDAG / FOUNDER OF INDUS FU> ND 12;56;30 “YOU CANNOT HAVE A SOCIETY THAT MOVES FORWARD IF IT INTENTIONALLY DISREGARDS A PORTION OF ITSELF.” KEREM SAYS THE AMERICAN BANKING STSYEM UNINTENTIONALLY REDLINES IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES BY CHARGING HIGH INTEREST RATES FOR LOANS.. DUE TO A LACK OF CREDIT HISTORY. THE INDUS FUND DOES NOT POSE THESE RESTRICTIONS.. AND SO FAR, THERE ARE 10 RECIPIENTS. KEREM SAYS HE HOPES TO EXPAND TO MORE BANKS AND CREDIT UNIONS.. FOR AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE BOTH DIVERSE AND INCLUSI VE IN OUR STATE. <SOT KEREM DURDAG / FOUNDER OF INDUS FUND> 12;53;53 “I BELIEVE E TH FUTURE OF MA

A new loan program invests in new Mainers with small business ideas

The Indus Fund is meant for first generation immigrants who want to establish themselves in Maine

The Indus Fund was created in 2019 by entrepreneur and first generation immigrant Kerem Durdag. With the help of colleagues in the banking industry, Durdag formulated a microloan program that would eliminate existing barriers for immigrant Mainers with little to no credit history. Durdag says, “In the past the banking infrastructure, to no fault of their own, participated in redlining of immigrant communities by charging extremely exorbitant interest rates due to a lack of credit history.” Credit scores do not follow people abroad, so this was becoming a challenge for new Mainers looking to get ahead.Durdag says the immigrant population in Maine is 75,000 out of 1.3 MILLION, which is less than 5 percent. He says it is important to help the immigration community create generational wealth here in Maine, adding, “You cannot have a society that moves forward if it intentionally disregards a portion of itself.”There are currently 10 recipients of the Indus Fund microloan program. The maximum loan offered is $10,000, with a 5 year repayment plan at a 3.5% fixed interest rate. CPort Credit Union in Portland is the only location providing Indus Fund micro loans to immigrant run small businesses. Durdag says he hopes to the expand Indus Fund to more banks and credit unions in the future for an opportunity to be more diverse and inclusive in our state.

The Indus Fund was created in 2019 by entrepreneur and first generation immigrant Kerem Durdag. With the help of colleagues in the banking industry, Durdag formulated a microloan program that would eliminate existing barriers for immigrant Mainers with little to no credit history. Durdag says, “In the past the banking infrastructure, to no fault of their own, participated in redlining of immigrant communities by charging extremely exorbitant interest rates due to a lack of credit history.” Credit scores do not follow people abroad, so this was becoming a challenge for new Mainers looking to get ahead.

Durdag says the immigrant population in Maine is 75,000 out of 1.3 MILLION, which is less than 5 percent. He says it is important to help the immigration community create generational wealth here in Maine, adding, “You cannot have a society that moves forward if it intentionally disregards a portion of itself.”

There are currently 10 recipients of the Indus Fund microloan program. The maximum loan offered is $10,000, with a 5 year repayment plan at a 3.5% fixed interest rate. CPort Credit Union in Portland is the only location providing Indus Fund micro loans to immigrant run small businesses. Durdag says he hopes to the expand Indus Fund to more banks and credit unions in the future for an opportunity to be more diverse and inclusive in our state.

https://www.wmtw.com/article/a-new-loan-program-invests-in-new-mainers-with-small-business-ideas/40257559

Next Post

The Branding Secret Lyft, Southwest and Starbucks Use That Your Business Should Too

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. International research by Harvard Business Review has documented that brands that are considered more “human” benefit from greater customer involvement, increased innovation, loyalty and a unique reputation. It pays to be human! However, creating a human brand requires one to challenge one’s […]