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MyFight Fights Poverty In Third World Countries Via Microfinance Loans

BILLINGS, Mont., Jan. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- MyFight, a Montana-based nonprofit, is helping fight poverty in underdeveloped nations by empowering women to sustain and expand their rural community businesses through microfinance loans, so that they can support themselves and their families.

MyFight raises funds by selling its line of colorful and eclectic, MyFight-themed T-shirts. A percentage of proceeds are given to the Adelante Foundation, which makes microfinance loans to impoverished female entrepreneurs in Honduras. The T-shirts are designed by artists from throughout the United States. Prices range from $7 to $25.

"We don't want to feed the hungry, we want to end hunger," said Jesse Murphy, founder of MyFight. "Investing in these women through microfinance is quite simply investing in the end of poverty. It is the innovation and tenacity of these women that will stop at nothing until they can put dinner in front of their kids, and send them to school ensuring that, for them, the story of poverty comes to an end."

MyFight is helping women such as Honduras native Margareta of Flor de Campo, who uses her baking skills to, ironically, put food on her own table to feed her children. Margareta spent eight hours a day making tortillas and only two hours a day selling them.

After receiving a $100 microloan, Margareta was able to purchase a tortilla press. This allowed her to make three times the number of tortillas in four hours and devote the remainder of her time to selling them. As business grew, she was able to hire her neighbor and put her children through school. Within six months, Margareta paid back the loan, and the money then went to finance another woman's business venture.

Microfinance involves loaning money to the poor in order for them to start and grow small businesses. However, most banks do not view the poor as viable clients and will not lend them money said Mike Wiesner of Colorado-based Adelante Foundation.

"Popular misconceptions are that the poor will not repay, and that they will not have the discipline to invest the microloan in a business," said Wiesner, executive director of the Adelante Foundation. "The experience of Adelante and other microfinance institutions has proved otherwise. For example, a repayment rate of 97 percent among Adelante clients in 2011 confirms that lending to the poor is viable."

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