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Microfinance

A Simple Gift Can Have a Profound Impact

Catholic Relief Services | Posted 01.21.2013 | Impact
Catholic Relief Services

Poverty is a complicated problem, its causes so multiple and interconnected that trying to solve it often seems like an impossible Rubik's cube of a task. But finding a solution to poverty is exactly what humanitarian groups like Catholic Relief Services try to do every day.

Milling Maize for the Maasai, From 'Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories'

Julia Kurnia | Posted 01.16.2013 | Impact
Julia Kurnia

John Mopel Napais hails from Kenya's Maasai Mara, whose endless savannas are home to a mostly nomadic population.

Fringe Entrepreneurs: Struggling to Secure Start-Up Cash? Look Here

Neil Parmar | Posted 01.09.2013 | Impact
Neil Parmar

Finding financing to launch a new venture in this shaky economy is tricky enough. But what are the odds that an aspiring business owner who is struggling with a mental illness or living in a rural area could secure start-up capital? Increasingly good, it turns out.

The Village Technology Hub, From 'Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories'

Julia Kurnia | Posted 01.09.2013 | Impact
Julia Kurnia

Eliud Mathu is a young entrepreneur who created a multi-service technology boutique in a small village in the rugged mountains of Kenya's Rift Valley. He used a Zidisha loan of $536 to buy a computer and a scanner-printer for the boutique.

A New Bill Gates, From Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories

Julia Kurnia | Posted 01.07.2013 | Impact
Julia Kurnia

Venture is a rich and readable collection of true microfinance stories. It is written for anyone who would like to better understand the realities faced by the the aspiring middle class in the world's least developed countries.

Empowering Poor Women to Become Their Own Bankers

Ethan Veneklasen | Posted 01.06.2013 | Impact
Ethan Veneklasen

Women like Djessi, who live in very poor, very rural areas, face an often overwhelming set of challenges. Because their savings and credit needs tend to be small and irregular, formal-sector banks can't afford to provide them with financial services.

The Village Matriarch, From 'Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories'

Julia Kurnia | Posted 12.25.2012 | Impact
Julia Kurnia

Serah Wanjiku Mukuria works at the Mugaa Village Secondary School, a rare rural high school nestled in the highlands of Kenya's Rift Valley, as a secretary (many people affectionately call her "Madam Secretary") and also takes care of her farm and animals.

Madame Ndeye Bineta Sarr, The Fashion Creator, From 'Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories'

Julia Kurnia | Posted 12.17.2012 | World
Julia Kurnia

West Africa is famous for its vibrant traditional clothing, and many women in Dakar make a living from sewing traditional dresses. Yet in this competitive market, Ndeye has carved out a niche for herself thanks to sheer artistic genius.

Bursting the Bubble: When 'Half the Sky' Abuses Itself

Barbara Hannah Grufferman | Posted 12.02.2012 | Women
Barbara Hannah Grufferman

Let's shift the discourse away from 'women vs. women', which sounds like a tawdry Las Vegas boxing match, and move it towards a much deeper conversation about what we need to do to get more women in leadership positions in both the public and private sector and eradicate poverty.

Micro-Finance Meets Multi-Nationals at Clinton Global Initiative

Jim Luce | Posted 11.25.2012 | Impact
Jim Luce

Nobel-prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of the microfinance pioneer Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, addressed our breakfast at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) kick-off.

Mobile Phones and the Rise of the Microentrepreneurs

Alex Counts | Posted 11.13.2012 | Impact
Alex Counts

A simple and widely available tool -- the mobile phone -- is creating substantial impact in the developing world, changing the lives of low-income individuals, especially in rural communities.

The Hidden Champions of Low-Income Banking

Tilman Ehrbeck | Posted 11.13.2012 | Impact
Tilman Ehrbeck

Over the past few years, the concept of microcredit -- providing working capital loans to micro-entrepreneurs typically in the informal economy -- has come under scrutiny.

Ignite the Ripple Effect to Empower Women

Jane D. Wurwand | Posted 11.12.2012 | Impact
Jane D. Wurwand

Statistics demonstrate that women are more inclined to invest their earnings back into their family, which can include their children's education. Providing a microloan to a woman affects communities and local economies in a large way to create a ripple effect of change.

Is Your Yoga Working?

Leslie Hendry | Posted 11.11.2012 | Impact
Leslie Hendry

Yoga is not simply a class but can be a transformative lifestyle and set of values to quiet the mind, find a new paragon of health, become more respectful of the environment, all without requiring a yoga mat.

Microfinance Pioneer Grameen Bank Weakened by Bangladeshi Government Meddling

Eliot Daley | Posted 08.23.2012 | World
Eliot Daley

What can be done? Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Dhaka in May to urge Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Dipu Moni to take no actions that would undermine Grameen Bank.

A Kickstarter for Emerging Market Entrepreneurs

Julia Kurnia | Posted 10.21.2012 | Impact
Julia Kurnia

Zidisha entreprenurs have maintained a 98-percent repayment rate for the hundreds of loans they've financed through our platform, disproving the notion that disadvantaged people in developing countries need to be supervised by expensive local bureaucracies.

Eating, Giving, Growing

Xochi Balfour | Posted 10.15.2012 | UK Lifestyle
Xochi Balfour

A while ago, I wrote on the rainbo blog how one of the most empowering and exciting elements of running one's own business - however small - is the freedom to choose where you spend your profits. In other words, to be able to give money gained by your toils to the cause of your choice. For me, this is one of the fundamental bonuses of setting up your own for-profit company, and one that is all too often overlooked in the food industry.

Microfinance Is Down, But Not Out

Moushumi M. Khan | Posted 10.13.2012 | Impact
Moushumi M. Khan

A growing unrest is stirring the global microcredit market. Some are asking whether microcredit has really benefited the poor. Although the spotlight might be uncomfortable, microfinance institutions should welcome this soul searching.

Microfinance And Mental Health: A Rotman/CAMH Financial Initiative Supporting Entrepreneurs In Canada

Narinder Dhami | Posted 10.10.2012 | Impact
Narinder Dhami

Meaningful employment forms an essential part of a person's well-being and identity. Yet there are many who are unable to access the traditional job market due to significant barriers linked to their mental health or addiction challenge.

Businesses With Impact: Kiva.org

Jesse Seaver | Posted 08.10.2012 | Impact
Jesse Seaver

One of the first companies to really leverage the power of the internet to connect those who have with those who need, Kiva allows anyone to lend money to aspiring entrepreneurs in developing countries in a relatively risk-free way.

What a 'Microfinance Heretic' Has to Say to U.S. Microlenders

Elaine Edgcomb | Posted 10.09.2012 | Small Business
Elaine Edgcomb

This past weekend I devoured a new tell-all book by Hugh Sinclair, Confessions of a Microfinance Heretic. It's a disquieting read, especially for someone like me who was deeply engaged in international microfinance especially in the early years.

Nobel Winner Facing Probe Over Alleged Tax-Exempt Status

Posted 08.03.2012 | Business

The Bangladeshi government is going after a Nobel Prize-winning economist who has dedicated his life to eliminating poverty. Muhammad Yunus, who re...

From There to Here: Social Enterprise and Reverse Innovation

Thane Kreiner | Posted 09.24.2012 | Impact
Thane Kreiner

The vast growth it has seen is proof that the Grameen Bank's brand of group lending -- which relies on peer pressure rather than collateral to ensure that debts are repaid -- can work in America.

The Power of Hope: Graduation Programs for the Extreme Poor Do More Than Directly Reduce Poverty

Tilman Ehrbeck | Posted 09.17.2012 | Impact
Tilman Ehrbeck

In an important coordinated effort, ten pilots around the world are experimenting with a model initially developed by BRAC in Bangladesh that helps extremely poor families build assets and capabilities and ultimately "graduate" into sustainable livelihoods.

Social Entrepreneur Creates Dairy Jobs Where No One Else Dares to Go

Suzanne Skees | Posted 09.11.2012 | Impact
Suzanne Skees

These days, Lokesh works in rural villages where life has stood still for centuries: no paved roads, no electrical wiring, and no plumbing. There are also no real jobs.