NILS and StepUP offered internationally

 

Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) has committed $10m to Good Shepherd NZ to offer the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) and StepUP programs. This funding is for up to five years with an initial one-year pilot programme.  With this model , BNZ will provide capital, the New Zealand Federal Government will contribute to NGO operating costs, Good Shepherd NZ will oversee the initiative, and The Salvation Army will be responsible for managing the loan applications.

Today’s announcement honours commitments made in last year’s New Zealand Federal Government Budget to boost practical support for people on low incomes. The Social Development Minister Paula Bennett stated they are now “focused on increasing the wellbeing of families by assisting them to avoid unscrupulous lenders and their crippling interest rates”.

This is a fantastic development for financial inclusion internationally. The model is replicated from Good Shepherd Microfinance’s successful microfinance model in Australia, which has been delivered for the past 33 years. 

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