Financing Freedom

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Gustavo Lasala, MBA ’04 created a credit-scoring system that transformed an industry. His work is helping overlooked borrowers realize their dreams—one microloan at a time.

By Dashka Slater
Photographs by Ryan Heffernan

Gustavo Lasala

Lasala at an in-store branch of California-based Progreso Financiero, where he is director of retail operations.

Sitting in the offices of Acción Texas, a San Antonio–based microlender, Noelia Gutierrez posed a familiar problem: She had a nice face, a good story and a lousy credit history. The daughter of migrant field workers, she’d come to the United States with her family at age 4 and had spent her childhood alternating between school during the week and work on the weekends, sometimes laboring in the fields, sometimes selling tamales with her mother. At 14, under the tutelage of a neighbor who was a notary public, she began helping other farmworkers with their tax returns, hoping to build the skills to have a different kind of life than the one her parents led. Now, she was hoping for a $2,000 loan so she could buy a computer for her expanding business, Electronic Tax Refund.

See full story by Posted by: Tracy Mueller | March 7, 2011 – 3:50pm


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