Learning to speak English? Our Everyday Conversations help you practice. Click the audio link to hear a native speaker pronounce each word while you read. Key terms are explained at the end. Today’s conversation is on financing a business.

This continues our Everyday Conversations about business.

Rashid: Hi, Seoyeon. It’s been a while!

Seoyeon: Yeah, I’ve been busy. I got a new job with a nonprofit microfinance organization.

Rashid: So your organization gives small loans to people who can’t borrow money from banks?

Seoyeon: Basically, yeah. We focus on giving small loans to entrepreneurs, in particular.

Rashid: Cool. What types of businesses do the entrepreneurs start?

Seoyeon: It varies a lot. For example, someone may expand their bakery into a full restaurant. Another person might open a clothing shop. Someone else might create something new and start production of it.

Rashid: That’s great. Is there a way that I can donate to your company?

Seoyeon: Definitely! Let me give you my card with the organization’s website address. You can donate online.

Now let’s review the vocabulary

Microfinance is a type of financial service, such as giving small loans, that is provided to unemployed or low-income individuals or new businesses that do not have access to or cannot use traditional banking services.

A loan is money that an individual or company borrows from a financial institution (such as a bank) or an individual for a period of time with a promise that the money will be paid back. Often, the person must pay interest — money that is charged by the bank, other financial institution or organization for lending the money.

In this conversation, to borrow means to take money from a financial institution or other organization for a period of time before returning it, often paying interest as well.

An entrepreneur is a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money.

Production is the process of growing or making something to be sold.

To donate means to give money, goods, services and/or time to help a person or an organization.

Let me give you my card means that the speaker will give the listener his or her business card — a small card with the person’s name, job, company name and contact information.

The American English website offers a variety of free resources for learners and teachers of English. The American English Facebook page posts learning materials for English-language learners daily.

Everyday Conversations are developed by the State Department’s Heidi Howland, a senior program officer in the Office of English Language Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.