Public Law 108-31
The Microenterprise Enhancement Act of 2003
Prime Sponsor Mr. Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey
Signed by the President June 17, 2003
- Reauthorizes microenterprise loan programs for Fiscal Years 2003 and 2004 under the authority of the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which expired on September 30, 2002.
- Increases the authorization level for microenterprise funding to $175 million in 2003 and $200 million in 2004.
- Improves USAID’s ability to reach out to microenterprise clients and increase the number of households benefitting from U.S. microenteprise assistance by requiring the development and implementation of low-cost and easy-to-use poverty assessment techniques.
- Microenterprise programs have been some of our most effective and efficient foreign aid programs through providing loans for people in the developing world to start and expand their own small businesses.
- More than 5.6 million microentrepreneurs received loans through USAID-assisted microfinance institutions in 2001.
- Approximately 70% of microenterprise beneficiaries are women. Women empowered by these loans have raised their status in society and escaped poverty and abuse.
- Estimates show that loan repayment rates can be as high as 97%.
Text of the Microenterprise Enhancement Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-31) [.pdf]