The nonprofit Opportunity Fund in California has made micro-loans totaling $45 million and says its loans generate a twofold return in terms of economic impact. One beneficiary, Emily Huante, used money from the fund to start a promising skate shop in her hometown of Watsonville, Calif. "It's something we really need in Santa Cruz County," Huante said of the Opportunity Fund. "It's the way to turn our economy around."

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