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By Arkady Petrov

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Authorized by the government a little over a month ago, the Empresa Simples de Crédito (ESC) already boasts 25 start-ups throughout Brazil.

The statute passed by Congress has legalized a new model--loan operations carried out by and for ordinary citizens, with interest and without direct regulation by the Central Bank.

The goal is for money to reach small entrepreneurs, for whom it is difficult to raise capital from large banks, despite representing 99 percent of the country's private companies.

Karolina Duarte, the owner of a clothing factory, saw an . . .

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