One of the most popular among all of the American presidents, Abraham Lincoln was known as a kind and compassionate man. One of his most inspiring quotes was, “I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” Joe Johnson Mercy Foundation takes this quote to heart by aiming to stay true to its mission statement: “to become the leading life improvement organization by helping people in need learn how to create a brighter future and more productive life for themselves, their families and their communities”. The Mercy Foundation gives out micro loans to the poor all over the world so that they would be able to pull themselves out of poverty and improve their quality of life. Most of these micro loans are used to start or expand small business, often family managed, which help the poor transition to simply just eking out a living for simple survival to thriving and being able to afford education for their children, healthcare for all family members, or even enough capital to start a new business. To date, the Mercy Foundation has given out micro loans to poor people in over fifty countries, spread out over six continents except Antarctica. These loans are then used to start or expand various small businesses in many different industries like retail, art, education, health, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, and many more.
Meet the Man Behind the Mercy Foundation
Joe Johnson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Welfont Group, a commercial real estate brokerage firm that has found a niche market in acquiring under-utilized and distressed real estate. Joe Johnson’s company is doing so well that he can afford to divert some of his profits into micro loans through the Mercy Foundation to help those in need. Joe Johnson derives deep personal satisfaction from seeing people enjoy the fruits of their labor. He truly believes that the poor are not to be blamed for their unfortunate circumstances. Joe Johnson prefers to listen to the wise words of Abraham Lincoln and focus on being compassionate instead. The micro loans given to the poor from the Welfont Group through the Mercy Foundation not only help those in need improve their situations, but they also give them the chance to improve their business skills, something that everybody would benefit from.
Why Micro Loans Are Better than Donations
Joe Johnson believes that simply relying on donations would create dependency. Micro loans allow the poor to create capital and give them a chance to take control of their own lives. Joe Johnson would also like to highlight the fact that the repayment rate of micro loans is actually very impressive – 99 percent. This is actually a better rate that many banks can only hope for. Joe Johnson hopes that as micro loans become more common and accepted as a way to alleviate poverty, more banks would give the poor a chance to prove themselves while at the same time the banks could collect interest and make money for themselves.