U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Refugee Microenterprise Development (MED) Program
The purpose of the Office of Refugee Resettlement Refugee Microenterprise Development (MED) program is to assist refugees to become economically self-sufficient. Under the MED program the following objectives must be carried out: 1) assisting refugees to establish microenterprise businesses through the provision of MED loans, training and technical assistance (T/TA), and 2) assisting refugees in developing credit history and/or in repairing their credit scores.
To achieve these objectives, allowable activities under the program include T/TA, maintaining a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF), maintaining a Loan Loss Reserve (LLR) fund, and administrative costs associated with managing the MED Program. MED Programs also have the option of providing Credit Builder Loans (CBL) for those refugee clients that are intending to pursue an MED loan, but first need assistance in building or repairing a credit history.
Eligible refugee clients may take out a loan to develop a microenterprise business. A microenterprise is considered a small business employing 10 people or less, requiring small startup capital. Most microenterprises are family businesses employing one or two persons including the business owner.
Amount: $2,500,000 is available for grants ranging from $150,000-$250,000 each year for five years.
Eligibility: State governments; county governments; city or township governments; special district governments; independent school districts; public and State-controlled institutions of higher education; Native American tribal governments; public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities; nonprofit organizations; private institutions of higher education.
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