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Microfinance

Avoiding "Mission Drift": Do Microfinance Institutions Stop Serving Their Core Mission When Seeking Profit?

Mary Ellen Iskenderian | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Mary Ellen Iskenderian

Microfinance efforts show that the poor are indeed creditworthy, and that women borrowers in particular spend the proceeds from their businesses in ways that have a longer-lasting, more profound impact on the lives of their families.

Funding the Risk Frontier in Microfinance

Elisabeth Rhyne | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Elisabeth Rhyne

The recent IPO of SKS Microfinance, India's largest microfinance institution (MFI), was a watershed event whose ripples are affecting the public perception of microfinance.

Grameen Foundation Helps People Help Themselves

Craig Newmark | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Craig Newmark

Here are three ways you can help the poorest people in the world who typically live on less than one dollar a day and are based in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

Microinsurance, Microsavings and Microcredit Under One Roof

Bhagwan Chowdhry | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Bhagwan Chowdhry

The meagre savings that the poor do manage to accumulate are rarely enough and there is a need for insurance against unfortunate events such as going hungry, undernourishment for children, and pulling children out of school.

Is Financial Inclusion Imminent in India?

Bhagwan Chowdhry | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Bhagwan Chowdhry

70% of India's population is excluded from formal financial services that most people reading this blog take for granted. If financial services are to become a reality, they have to be delivered non-traditionally.

Mercy Merilu: Moving from the Chicken Stand to the Classroom

Kushal Chakrabarti | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Kushal Chakrabarti

Because by leveling the educational playing field we -- Vittana, and our lenders -- are unlocking the talent and human potential in young people around world.

Africa's Poorest Women Can Teach Us How to Manage Our Money

Suzanne Skees | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Suzanne Skees

The mess we made with our wealth We spend and borrow, ignoring tomorrow. Somehow, that became the American way. We max out credit cards and take ...

The World's First Hip-Hop Microfinance Music Video

Fred Graves | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Fred Graves

As an intern for the Grameen Foundation, I was excited at the chance to combine my passions for microfinance and for hip-hop music. The result is the first hip-hop microfinance music video.

Measure? Alleviate? No, Eliminate Poverty

Elisabeth Rhyne | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Elisabeth Rhyne

While academics from prestigious East Coast universities are developing randomized trials to test the impact of microfinance on poverty - and coming u...

Poverty Group Honest About Its Work; How Rare Is That?

Jonathan Lewis | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Jonathan Lewis

A poverty charity reminds us about the desperate plight of the poor in squalid villages. As human beings and as global citizens, we are simultaneously moved to action and justifiably suspicious of hucksterism.

Microfinance: Keeping the Mission When Non-Profits Become For-Profits

Elisabeth Rhyne | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Elisabeth Rhyne

Many people committed to social justice have a built-in assumption that nonprofits are inherently more virtuous than for-profit companies. However, for-profit businesses have been the primary engines of wealth creation in the modern world.

A New Financial Access Frontier: Persons With Disabilities

Elisabeth Rhyne | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Elisabeth Rhyne

Can a person with a disability living in a developing country become the valued client of a financial institution?

Empowering Women and Children for Global Health at Star Island's 2010 International Affairs Conference

Susan Davis | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Susan Davis

I had the opportunity to speak at Star Island's 2010 International Affairs Conference off the coast of New Hampshire. It was a very moving experience as I got the chance to interact with a unique group of people.

Vote for South Africa

Jonathan Lewis | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Jonathan Lewis

As apartheid died in 1994, Shared Interest was born. Operating today from humble offices on a noisy New York side street, the organization carries forward the pragmatic realism which ended apartheid politically.

Struggling to Make a Living in Ethiopia: Surviving in the Informal Economy

Jina Krause-Vilmar | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Jina Krause-Vilmar

In Ethiopia, some 44,000 Somali refugees are scattered among four refugee camps, living in the arid heat on parched land. Most of these refugees survive on one meal a day and are dependent on humanitarian aid.

BeadForLife, Microlending Nonprofit, Helps Ugandan Women Become Entrepreneurs

Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact

Nonprofits, like many international aid organizations, alleviate poverty in developing nations by providing resources to female entrepreneurs. As Forb...

Haward: Before, After and Paying It Forward

Kushal Chakrabarti | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Kushal Chakrabarti

Ten months ago, a young man named Haward appeared on Vittana.org. He was just $1,000 away from finishing law school in Nicaragua. Eleven Vittana lenders from cities around the world loaned Haward the money.

Making Microfinance Benefit the People and Not the Sharks

Shivani Siroya | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Shivani Siroya

In the right hands, microcredit can be a truly empowering opportunity, enabling hardworking entrepreneurs to become self-sufficient business owners and improve the livelihood of whole communities.

Obama Calls Out Microfinance

Jonathan Lewis | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Jonathan Lewis

Amidst accusations of overcharging interest and withholding full disclosure from borrowers and investors, the truth about microfinance lies somewhere between predation and panacea.

2010 Vancouver Olympic Games: An Opportunity to Change the World

Rahim Kanani | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Rahim Kanani

Canada is a model for the world on immigration, diversity and pluralism. Now is the time to reignite Canada's commitment to gender equality and the advancement of women's rights internationally.

Put Microfinance Out to Pasture?

Suzanne Skees | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Suzanne Skees

Like women's emancipation and affirmative action, microfinance was never meant to last forever, but to provide a stepping-stone to inclusion.

International Financier Invests in Jobs

Jonathan Lewis | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Jonathan Lewis

The Calvert Foundation's mission is to maximize the flow of capital to disadvantaged communities in order to create a more equitable and sustainable society. It is the anti-Wall Street bank.

Pulse of Poverty: Women Communicating, Connecting, Converging

Jonathan Lewis | Posted 05.25.2011 | Impact
Jonathan Lewis

Poverty is the story of hard working, but poor, women. Women perform 66% of the world's work, produce 50% of the food, earn just 10% of the income and own only 1% of the property.

The Impact of Microfinance: Grameen Foundation Provides a Primer

Elisabeth Rhyne | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Elisabeth Rhyne

Moderate results are disappointing if you were expecting microfinance to cure poverty. But they are just what you'd expect if you think microfinance is about bringing financial services to people who never had them before.

Queen Noor at Soliya on Obama, Islam and Interpersonal Global Communications

Jim Luce | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Jim Luce

No one personifies the concept of thought leader and global citizen more than the Washington, D.C.-born, U.S.-raised, Princeton-educated regal woman w...