Grameen Foundation

4 Smart phones for poor farmers

Part of the reason many farming communities in Africa are poor is because they lack ready access to valuable information — about market price fluctuations, improved seed types or planting techniques and opportunities for farmers to collaborate with each other to sell in bulk. So lots of folks are looking…

1 Four answers to the question: Does microfinance work?

That, in a nutshell, was the question posed to a panel of microfinance experts at a Seattle forum earlier this week, sponsored by Global Washington and aimed at examining “The global implications of India’s microcredit crisis.” The answer: Yes and no. Of course. It’s actually an important, if impudent sounding,…

0 Has India jinxed microfinance?

The anti-poverty scheme known as microfinance is in crisis, or maybe several crises. The political sacking of Muhammad Yunus as head of the pioneering Grameen Bank, allegations of loan-shark profiteering by some microfinanciers and suicides of poor people caught in “debt traps” have led to a drumbeat of negative media…

7 Five reasons why microfinance is in crisis – and why it matters

The popular anti-poverty scheme of providing small loans and other financial services to poor people, generally known as microfinance, is in crisis. “In one sense, you could say it’s a coming of age,” says Alex Counts, CEO at the Grameen Foundation, a leading non-profit microfinance organization with offices in Seattle…

0 Microfinance flap keeps getting weirder

There is a crisis in the anti-poverty scheme microfinance, centered in India but reverberating globally. I posted on the local implications of this mess in October, before it exploded in India but back when there were signs of trouble. I’ve tried to keep up as it has gotten more intense…

0 Microfinance, subprime loans and baseball

Is Microfinance the New Subprime? That’s the provocative title of a new article in the Harvard Business Review by financial journalist Barbara Kiviat and New York University economist (and author of Portfolios of the Poor) Jonathan Morduch. The subtext of the question is the implication that, like those sub-prime mortgage…

2 Mobile Phones for the Poor

Mobile phoneFlickr, by 96dpi There’s a lot of excitement and activity around the idea of using mobile phones to improve the lives of the world’s poorest. Part of this stems from the fact that cell phones are basically mini-computers and spreading like wildfire into even the most remote corners of…

0 Hip-Hop Microfinance

A new perspective (and pitch for support) on microfinance from the Grameen Foundation:!