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Microfinance

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.

A Microfinance Whistleblower Tells the Painful Truth

Tom Devine | Posted 09.08.2012 | Business
Tom Devine

A new whistleblowing book by British microfinance expert Hugh Sinclair exposes a particularly painful truth: What has been promoted as a charity structured to empower the poor in fact is camouflage for heavy-handed loan sharking that regularly victimizes its so-called beneficiaries.

The Course And Success Of The Economy Belongs In All Of Our Hands

Premal Shah | Posted 09.16.2012 | Small Business
Premal Shah

It is difficult to know how any one of us can make a difference in any of our nation's most troubling problems. But, what if the money stored in our wallets had a new purpose, even just for a short amount of time?

Fallout of a Crisis: The Future of Microfinance in India After Andhra Pradesh

Jessica Gage | Posted 09.03.2012 | World
Jessica Gage

While the Andhra Pradesh crisis caused significant changes and challenges within the Indian microfinance industry, the general consensus seems to be that the introduction of regulation into the sector is productive.

G20 Leaders' Plan To Bring Financial Services To Poor

Tilman Ehrbeck | Posted 09.01.2012 | Impact
Tilman Ehrbeck

We need continued product and business model innovation so that we can reach more people with a broader range of products at lower costs. What is needed instead is a variety of financial service providers that create an ecosystem that serves the poor profitably.

Using Both Heart And Head To Help The Sahel

Tim McCully | Posted 08.25.2012 | Impact
Tim McCully

As we watch a devastating drought unfold in the Sahel for the third time in less than a decade, putting millions at risk of hunger, it occurs to me that perhaps the international community has been responding to these crises over the years with a lot of heart, but maybe not as much head.

Microfinance Creates Resiliency In The Sahel

Alisha Rodriquez | Posted 08.21.2012 | Impact
Alisha Rodriquez

As international development practitioners, we realize that food-based responses, while immensely valuable for basic survival in times of crisis, are not always the most effective in promoting sustainable, long-term recovery and resiliency.

How Small Loans Can Save Entire Families In The Sahel

Nicki Fleuhr-Lobban | Posted 08.22.2012 | Impact
Nicki Fleuhr-Lobban

Access to financial services for the rural poor provides an important tool that can help women and their families be resilient in the face of drought and conflict and respond to health shocks and other uncertainties.