Aunts and Uncles is a Philadelphia-based project designed to lend funds, encouragement, and expertise to Fair Trade and local entrepreneurs who don’t have support from friends and family, as many new businesspeople from more privileged backgrounds do. Twenty-five investors contribute $2,000 a piece into a pooled loan fund and serve as “aunts and uncles” to entrepreneurs with creative, profitable, and socially responsible business proposals, which they pitch to the circle. Once the investees are selected, each one receives a low-interest loan as well as a commitment by a sub-group or “pod” of aunts and uncles to provide technical assistance and moral support to the individual and the endeavor. Aunts and Uncles is deliberately small and requires virtually no operating expenses, making it a replicable model for small-scale, community-oriented, family-style economic development.
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Aunts and Uncles
Untours’ giving is creative in every sense of the word. Their low-interest loans literally create jobs among the hard-core unemployed and housing in decaying urban centers.
— Paul Newman
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