This profile was prepared when Gunardo was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1996.
The New Idea
Gunardo is convincing Indonesia's banks to lend directly to the urban poor at affordable interest rates and without requiring traditional forms of collateral. While others have had similar ideas with respect to loan criteria, none have been able to establish a connection to the formal banking sector. Gunardo accomplished this by presenting not only a plan in sufficient detail to capture the bank's attention, but also a strong demonstration of community support.In addition to creating the first vehicle for affordable small business credit for the urban poor, Gunardo's scheme includes a community development fund that is financed through a share of loan repayments. The Fund is used to support educational, cultural and bulk buying programs that affirm community and directly reduce family expenditures.