Sam Daley-Harris on Slumdog Millionaire

Feb 28, 2009 — Unlike the movie-goers in the theatre, who pinned their hopes for one chai wallah (tea seller) escaping the horrors of the slums of Mumbai, India, on the long-shot odds of his winning the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, we knew that right now, there is a tool … [Read more…]

Vittana Benefit Raises $1200

Feb, 27, 2009 — Vittana is taking the concept of microfinance — making small loans to people in developing countries to help them build small businesses — and applying it into the world of education. Vittana is working with local schools and microfinance banks in developing countries to identify ‘high-achieving, deserving” students. (full article)

Microenterprises: No Recovery Without Them

As a Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus has brought world attention to the work of international micro-credit in moving families out of poverty. While mainly focused on international efforts, it is an application that has incredible merit and history in the United States. After all, entrepreneurship is the cornerstone of the American dream. In … [Read more…]

Refuting a Common Microfinance Critique

What is the most common critique of microfinance? The high interest rates on microloans. For those of us accustomed to interest rates on consumer credit in the United States, 20%-30% seems like a pretty steep interest rate. When you take into account the administrative costs and the currency risk involved, however, 20-30% begins to seem … [Read more…]

Microfinance in Mexico Resilient

Feb 26, 2009 — Until a year ago, microfinance and low-income banking in Mexico were a joint success story, growing at rates that made the rest of the country’s banking sector look sluggish. But since the beginning of last year, as credit began to dry up on fears of global recession, the fortunes of the … [Read more…]

TIAA-CREF Microfinance Equity Fund

Feb 25, 2009 — TIAA-CREF, the leading provider of retirement savings products and services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields, today announced a $40 million investment in Developing World Markets Microfinance Equity Fund I (“Fund”). In 2006, TIAA-CREF created a $100 million Global Microfinance Investment Program (GMIP) to invest in selected Microfinance Institutions … [Read more…]

GuyCarp Microinsurance Grant

Feb 24, 2009 — Global reinsurance specialist Guy Carpenter Co., LLC has been awarded a grant by the Microinsurance Innovation Facility to develop a reinsurance facility for microinsurance and microfinance company operations (MFIs). (full article)

Nine Questions to Ask Every Microfinance Institution

How can you, a potential investor in microfinance, determine which microfinance institutions are the best place for your investment? Grameen Foundation offers two key questions investors should be asking: Are microfinance institutions reaching poor clients? Are microfinance institutions helping move clients out of poverty? To determine the answer to these questions, you need to drill … [Read more…]

Microcredit in the US

Feb 24, 2009 — Sokoloff and Powell are among thousands of Americans using microcredit, a financing system originated in the Third World, to help open small businesses or get through rough spots. While the dollar amounts are much bigger in the U. S. than the tiny loans in developing countries — some for less than … [Read more…]

Dambisa Moyo

Feb 24, 2009 — Dambisa Moyo is interviewed in the New York Times as a harsh critic of western development strategies. Her advice to those of us who want to contribute in some way to African development? Make a loan through Kiva. (full interview)