microfinance

Basics
0 Surprising growth of savings and loans groups in Uganda

Map of CRS and CARE programs. A savings-and-loan initiative in Uganda sought to create groups where people could increase their personal finances. The hope was that agents would then help form new groups to reach more people. It succeeded, but not in a way that was expected. A survey of savings-and-loan…

Basics
0 Microfinance works! Loans better than fad of just giving poor money

International AIDS Vaccine Initiative The idea is simple, test what is the best way to grow microenterprise in Uganda: straight cash, loans, skills training or a combination of the three. What happened? The results were, please forgive the overused Upworthy adjective, unexpected. Just giving people money was not as good…

Podcasts
1 Microfinance: Empowering or exploiting the poor?

We’ve all heard about microfinance, the practice of giving small loans to the poor to boost their small businesses. Muhammed Yunus, widely considered the godfather of microfinance, won the Nobel Peace Prize a few years ago. But since then, microfinance has attracted ever-louder critics who see the institution as more…

Basics
0 Where is the best place for women entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean?

Chile is the best Latin American country for female entrepreneurs, says a new study. An index from the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) measures the climate for women-owned businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Women’s Entrepreneurial VentureScope evaluated 20 countries on five categories:…

Basics
0 Microfinance visualized

It’s hard to actually follow the advice of the slogan to “Visualize World Peace.” But below is a pretty cool video that allows you visualize reducing poverty — or at least watch microloans flying all over the world. Thanks to David Roodman at the Center for Global Development for pointing…

Basics
2 Muhammad Yunus on the crisis in microfinance

The Guardian has published an excellent, in-depth interview with Muhammad Yunus that provides perspective on the current crisis in microfinance. Yunus, the Nobel Prize-winning economist credited with developing this anti-poverty scheme, has been at the center of his own crisis, which overlaps with the general crisis but is largely due…

Basics
0 Mysterious microfinance firm re-emerges

Clay Holtzman, in his new blog Nonprofit Kingdom, notes that a year ago the Seattle microfinance firm Unitus closed its doors, laid off most of its staff and didn’t really tell anybody (including some major donors) why it did so. Unitus, which had claimed its primary mission was to help…

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