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A Loan But Not Alone

Businesses give hope to third world entrepreneurs.

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This story appears in the January 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez's business plan for Lassi, a spice line that she sells in conjunction with her New York City-based Indian restaurant of the same name, reflects her desire to share success with others. In the future, she hopes to turn Lassi into its own retail venture, but for now it serves a different purpose. With the help of Grameen Bank, which specializes in giving small loans to Third World entrepreneurs, Carlucci-Rodriguez donates proceeds from her spice line to struggling entrepreneurs. "As my business gets bigger, hopefully my lending through Grameen Bank will, too," says Carlucci-Rodriguez, 40. Her contributions currently fund new female entrepreneurs in India, and as her business continues to profit, she hopes to expand her lending to include entrepreneurs in the Dominican Republic, her husband's birthplace. Each woman funded by Carlucci-Rodriguez receives technological as well as personal support. And it's a gift that keeps on giving: When funds are repaid, they are made available to other applicants.

 

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