UrbanArts has started a new microloan program for youths. It plans to give $5000 loans to arts entrepreneurs from 18–24 to help them start their own businesses.
Microloans are the newest trend in economic development. The idea is to give loans to people who would not normally be eligible, in amounts that would not normally be profitable for lenders. The theory is that small entrepreneurs can put their knowledge of a community to use where outsiders couldn’t.
Lennox Cadore, the Arts Program Manager at UrbanArts, says that they are “creating opportunities for young people who want to start their own businesses. Artists really are entrepreneurs.”
There are 15 positions available in the business program. Upon graduation, the students will be eligible for the $5000 loans. The money comes from Alterna Savings and the City of Toronto.
According to the Toronto Star, the loans will be at prime plus 6%. If the loans are repaid on time, the 6% will be refunded. The loans must be repaid in three years.
Cadore says that he has already received some applications, and he expects many more.