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Microfinance

Crowd-Sourcing Development Innovation in India

Maura O'Neill | Posted 02.19.2012 | Impact
Maura O'Neill

With a booming social enterprise sector, a number of the world's leading academics, Nobel Prize winners and thinkers, a vibrant private sector, and world-class NGOs like Pratham, India has been dubbed the innovation hub for the West.

Students Create Microloan Institutions, Tackle Community Issues

Anna Bahr | Posted 12.16.2011 | Impact

The Campus Microfinance Alliance, a coalition of student-run microfinance groups, recently launched a new campaign to spur job growth for budding entr...

Making Consumer Protection a Reality in Microfinance

Elisabeth Rhyne | Posted 01.23.2012 | World
Elisabeth Rhyne

Across the microfinance industry a deep examination of performance is underway, as well as work to create structures that will incentivize good practices.

Now Is the Time to Invest in the Middle East and North Africa

David Weiss | Posted 01.15.2012 | Impact
David Weiss

Microenterprises on average only employ a few people, but they create job opportunities where very few exist. One individual we supported was Jassim, a young Iraqi entrepreneur who was the sole supporter of his three younger siblings.

Have a Nice Day: Stop Global Slavery Now

Jane D. Wurwand | Posted 01.11.2012 | Impact
Jane D. Wurwand

"Slavery" may seem like a word from another century, but it is still pervasive in many parts of the world. In fact, there are more slaves today than in any other period in history.

Two Females Farming the Future

Jonathan Lewis | Posted 01.08.2012 | Impact
Jonathan Lewis

To America's lasting shame, aching hunger lives down the street because our national "war on poverty" is long-since abandoned.

What Does Coffee Giant's Initiative Mean for America's Micro Businesses?

Elaine Edgcomb | Posted 01.02.2012 | Small Business
Elaine Edgcomb

With (seemingly) a Starbucks on every corner, the Starbucks- Opportunity Finance Network "Create Jobs for USA" initiative is designed to offer all of us an opportunity to become job creators.

Safe Water and a Toilet -- Is That Too Much to Ask... for 2.5 Billion People?

Matt Damon | Posted 01.01.2012 | Impact
Matt Damon

Even today, as solutions are known and available, lack of access to safe water and sanitation continues to claim more lives through disease than any war claims through guns.

Letter From Uganda: Given the Tools to Fight Poverty, Africa's Women Tend to Win

Susan Davis | Posted 12.25.2011 | Women
Susan Davis

When we invest in girls and women, we end up with healthier families, a more flexible workforce, lower HIV rates and a more stable society.

Blogging About 'The Girl Effect'

Tara Sophia Mohr | Posted 12.03.2011 | Women
Tara Sophia Mohr

Research shows that when girls in the developing world have access to education and are therefore able to earn a living, they move their families, and often their entire communities, out of poverty. This ripple effect is called "The Girl Effect."

Turning Bogota's Red Light Green: The Miracle of Microfinance

Elmira Bayrasli | Posted 11.12.2011 | Impact
Elmira Bayrasli

Martha Holguin, a 37-year-old microfinance recipient, is standing on her own feet, but she still has a long way to go. "You'll come back to see me as a businesswoman?" she asks. I take a deep breath to hold back my tears.

Dreaming Is Fine, but Doing Is Better

Jane D. Wurwand | Posted 10.31.2011 | Impact
Jane D. Wurwand

Americans have always been dreamers. But given the current state of the world economy, we must temper "Dream big!" optimism with pragmatism.

Curtis M. Wong

New York Chef Spends Vacation With South African Orphans

HuffingtonPost.com | Curtis M. Wong | Posted 10.24.2011 | Impact

Many people spend their summer vacations basking along sun-drenched beaches or traveling to exotic ports-of-call. But Lynn Bound wanted her holiday to...

Cultivating Knowledge and Crops: Women Are Key to Sustainable Agricultural Development

Danielle Nierenberg | Posted 10.17.2011 | Impact
Danielle Nierenberg

Women account for 75 percent of the agricultural producers in sub-Saharan Africa, but the majority of women farmers are living on only $1.25 per day, according to researchers from the Worldwatch Institute.

Andrea Stone

Nobel Peace Laureate Muhammad Yunus Wants To Put 'Social' In 'Business' To Help Poor

HuffingtonPost.com | Andrea Stone | Posted 10.11.2011 | Impact

WASHINGTON -- The Nobel Peace Prize winner who invented microcredit presented his latest idea for combating poverty, "social business," to the State D...

Kia Makarechi

A Former Investment Banker Brings Light To East Africa

HuffingtonPost.com | Kia Makarechi | Posted 10.10.2011 | Impact

Katherine Lucey spent 20 years as an investment banker focused in the energy sector. Now, she endeavors to bring clean energy to rural east Africa and...

The Life Out Loud: Mama Hope Wants to Change How Aid Is Delivered

MeiMei Fox | Posted 10.04.2011 | Impact
MeiMei Fox

Most NGOs operate according to a top-down model, Nyla and Amy explain. Officials decide what the locals need. The NGO builds the project and then leaves. But Mama Hope works in just the opposite way.

Microfinance Governance Matters, So Does Structure

Tom Murphy | Posted 09.12.2011 | Impact
Tom Murphy

For-profit MFIs are not inherently bad, but additional motives and responsibilities can cause a shift in operations.

Voices of Financial Inclusion: "It's the Clients, Stupid"

Elisabeth Rhyne | Posted 09.12.2011 | World
Elisabeth Rhyne

Industry players are moving beyond the "scale and sustainability" mantra that dominated microfinance during the past 15 years, with its laser focus on rapid growth and credit. Instead they are reaching back to where they began -- the clients.

Kiva's Microloan System Expands For U.S. Small Business Owners

Premal Shah | Posted 08.30.2011 | Impact
Premal Shah

So who can play a role in helping these businesses? The answer is actually quite simple: the American people.

Celebrating 30 Years Of Social Entrepreneurship

Alison Craiglow Hockenberry | Posted 08.29.2011 | Impact
Alison Craiglow Hockenberry

Social entrepreneurship today enjoys the high regard it has long deserved -- fully 30 years after the organization that launched the movement was born.

A New Day for Gugu

Jane D. Wurwand | Posted 06.04.2013 | Women
Jane D. Wurwand

I recently returned from a whirlwind trip to South Africa, where I spoke about microlending, financial independence, and women's empowerment to more than 1,000 women during meetings held in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

How the Opportunity Fund Ruined My Rant

Jonathan Lewis | Posted 08.14.2011 | Impact
Jonathan Lewis

The discussion asked, "Can dedication to mission and the profit motive co-exist as seamlessly as some microfinance proponents suggest?" It is not as wonky as you might fear.

Natalie Portman, Zoe Saldana Launch Women Microfinancing PSAs

Posted 08.10.2011 | Impact

Actresses Natalie Portman and Zoe Saldana have partnered with FINCA International, a microfinancing charity, to promote its women's entrepreneurship c...

Hillary: Agent of Change, Rock Star

Kathy Kemper | Posted 08.03.2011 | Politics
Kathy Kemper

It's a common misperception that the challenges women face are "soft" social issues. But the central role women play in society translates into a "butterfly effect" affecting ever-larger circles of humanity.