The idea has a wonderfully simple and powerful appeal: Give a tiny loan to a poor person in a poor nation.
Watch her start a small business – whether hawking tomatoes or fattening goats – that puts her and her family on the first rung of a ladder that will elevate them out of poverty and into the middle class. Repeat across the planet.
Milford Bateman has made a cogent case for community-based financial institutions that prioritise sustainable local solutions. Milford Bateman is perhaps best known for his strident attacks on microfinance as an anti-poverty strategy, including his sometimes acrimonious debates with David Roodman, another microfinance analyst. Bateman claims that, by diverting resources away from more productive investments and indebting poor people with no significant return, the microfinance "fad" has been anti-developmental, benefiting lenders most.
||Gabby Logan presents the Radio 4 Appeal on behalf of the MicroLoan Foundation. The MicroLoan Foundation is a specialist ‘not for profit’ UK microfinance charity that provides microfinance (small loans of on average £70), business education and ongoing mentoring support to impoverished women in sub-Saharan Africa. This provides them with a “hand-up not a hand-out” so they can develop self-sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families, and work their own way out of poverty. 99% of the loans are repaid and then recycled in full to help more women year after year.
||“Do microloans work?” strikes Lilian Simbaqueba as an odd question. If they’re administered properly, they should. That’s what her company, LiSim, is in the businesses of doing. Started in 1996, LiSim is a risk-analysis company based in Bogota, Colombia that uses statistics and behavioral analysis to determine the inherent risk in granting credit to a given client. It offers outsourcing services to clients interested in developing credit scoring systems as well as selling software for a client to use in-house.
|While interning in Africa in 2005, Elizabeth Scharpf was appalled to find that women were missing work and school because they couldn’t afford pads to wear during their periods. “I felt like it was an obstacle for women and girls — to their freedom” and one that shouldn’t exist, she said.
|. The first African woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, environmentalist Wangari Maathai, has died aged-71 in Nairobi after a long battle with cancer. Matthai became a key figure in Kenya after founding her Green Belt Movement in 1997 which campaigned for environmental conservation and good governance. In recent years, Maathai founded green groups and launched several campaigns against climate change and for environmental protection. Her organization planted some 40 million trees across Africa.|
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. Despite the challenging circumstances that women in developing countries face, important innovations in communications and organizing are helping women play a key role in the fight against hunger and poverty. "Access to credit, which provides women farmers with productive inputs and improved technologies, can be an effective tool in improving livelihoods in Africa and beyond," said Worldwatch Institute's executive director Robert Engelman.
|Lynne Maher can see the NHS entering a new phase in its development of IT. National programmes are becoming less of an issue, and there will be a stronger emphasis on new ideas coming from the ground up.|
The honeymoon with microfinance is over. Since the idea of lending or giving very small sums of money to poor people was introduced to the world by the pioneering Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, the approach has been taken up by many non-governmental organizations, donor agencies and the United Nations as an essential part of their poverty-reduction efforts. Microfinance has provided countless people with access to financial services.
Dr. Sabine O'Hara, Owner and Principal of Global Ecology LLC, has been recognized by Cambridge Who's Who for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in international business education and sustainable development.
Dr. O'Hara is principal of Global Ecology LLC, and managing director and vice president of Professors Beyond Borders. Global Ecology positions higher education institutions and private, public and non-profit sector organizations for success by providing educational tools and planning and assessment services for negotiating a complex world and marketplace.
|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|
| || When a scientist has to run a micro-finance firm, a different approach is inevitable. That was precisely what happened when Dr Tara Thiagarajan, Chairperson, Madura Micro Finance Ltd, a neuroscientist by profession, was called upon to take over her late father's micro-finance business. Thrust into this new role, she suddenly had to grapple with a network of almost 20,000 self-help groups in Tamil Nadu. By and by, she discovered that they were going nowhere in particular, despite the micro loans. These were at best helping them to maintain their subsistence levels.|
Do you have women in key positions? If you’re planning on targeting female customers, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to have great women on your team. Women are the routers and amplifiers of the social web. And they are the rocket fuel of ecommerce. The ongoing debate about women in tech has been missing a key insight. If you figure out how to harness the power of female customers, you can rock the world.
A day after U.S. assistant secretary of state for south and central Asian affairs Robert Blake appealed to the Bangladeshi government to reconsider its dismissal of 70-year-old microfinance guru Muhammad Yunus from the Grameen Bank, IPS spoke with the president and CEO of Women's World Banking (WWB), currently the most comprehensive network of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the world. She dismissed the notion, which is swiftly gaining momentum in many quarters, that microcredit is ineffective as a sustainable method of poverty alleviation and must be replaced.
7 Women Leaders Speak On The Role Of
Microfinance In Women's Entrepreneurship
Joke Orelope-Adefulire, the Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, has urged microfinance banks to serve the active poor diligently. Mrs Orelope-Adefulire urged the National Association of Microfinance Banks to come up with programmes that could change the lives of the poor, and advised it to set up a taskforce that would check activities of fraudsters in their midst.
While it's sometimes hard to quantify success, one thing is certain – the ripple effect and long-term effects of good development work impact more people for generations to come than any of us will know.
One of the most popular programs for helping the world's poor has gone sour in India. Microcredit, the practice of making small loans to very poor people, grew into a multibillion-dollar business. But microfinance companies have been accused of predatory lending and collection practices so harsh that they drove some borrowers to suicide. One state government in India has enacted legislation that will, in effect, put the microlenders out of business.
"Harassment of women and domestic violence goes back to centuries. It continues to be in force today in many parts of the world including Sri Lanka. It must be eliminated at all costs" said Child Development and Women Affairs Minister Tissa Karalliyadde addressing the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) held in Port Macquarie, Australia on the theme 'Prevention of violence against women'.
Shanti Microfinance, a not-for-profit organization, is raising a $772,000 (£500,000) fund backed by UK and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. The firm has already disbursed £10k (USD) and plans to start its operations in Gujarat before moving to Mumbai next year.
Kiva, the world's first personal micro-lending website, has teamed with KIEDF (Koret Israel Economic Development Funds) to launch its first and only partnership with an Israeli microfinance institution. This alliance will allow individuals anywhere to make small loans through the Kiva website to Bedouin women of the Negev, Arab Israelis in northern Israel, and other low-income populations throughout Israel.
The grant funded a one day workshop in Lusaka to look at gender issues in rural microfinance programmes. 43 people participated in the workshop, including managers and gender specialists from government ministries, financial institutions, community based organizations and NGOs, donors and colleges. There was also participation from IFAD and FAO.
Since the launch of FITA in January 2010, the Group has rapidly expanded with new Members teaming-up together to generate awareness in Cyprus of female artists, artisans and designers.
Microfinance was supposed to mean economic empowerment for the poorest of the poor, many of them female villagers living in India's southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh. Instead, the sector has spiralled into crisis in recent weeks, where the state is blaming 57 recent suicides on aggressive loan collectors.
Claudia Kennedy, Member of Opportunity's Board of Advisors and First Woman U.S. Army Lieutenant General, Encourages Individuals to Recognize Their Power to Improve People's Lives Around the World.
Microfinance programmes are currently being promoted as a key strategy for simultaneously addressing both poverty alleviation and women's empowerment. Where financial service provision leads to the setting up or expansion of micro-enterprises there are a range of potential impacts. A Briefing Paper by Linda Mayoux.
WAM began in 2003 after women professionals in the microfinance industry, most of them based in Washington, DC, began meeting, at first informally in each others' homes. This growing group of WAM Founders came together to discuss areas of common concern, to decide if a more formal organization made sense, to explore what such an organization might do to support women who work in the microfinance industry and, ultimately, to support the development of the industry itself. After several months of planning and program design, WAM was formally launched in October 2003. Membership has grown steadily since.
The Norwegian Microfinance Initiative (NMI), a partnership between the Norwegian public and private sectors that provides assistance for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in developing countries, recently loaned KES 325 million (approximately USD 4.03 million) to Kenya Women Finance Trust – Deposit Taking Microfinance (KWFT- DTM), a microfinance institution based in Nairobi, Kenya, and UGX 1.25 billion (approximately USD 548,000) to the Uganda Finance Trust (UFT), an MFI in Kampala, Uganda, to support microenterprises.
Women entrepreneurs constitute one of the key drivers of Africa's sustainable growth. As Africa's lead development partner, the African Development Bankactively supports women entrepreneurs.
Microfinance has had a quick slide down the popularity charts— from being celebrated as a magic wand against poverty to being condemned as a business riddled with loan sharks.
Canada will invest $43.4-million in new aid to Francophone African countries, the most tangible product of Stephen Harper’s trip to the weekend’s summit of Francophone nations. The funding, part of $1.1-billion in aid that the Conservative government promised in June to protect mothers and their children at the G8 summit of leading developed nations in Huntsville, Muskoka, will help protect 1.1 million women and children from malnourishment and sexual violence.
Samasta Microfinance is a public limited, for profit Non Banking Financial Company, established in March 2008. We offer microfinance solutions to the urban and rural poor in South India, and currently operate in the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Their aim is to drive social change and be a catalyst for entrepreneurial ambition by providing a host of financial and non-financial products to our members. Their loan products are geared towards income generation supplemented by loans for education and social commitments. Samasta's operations use the Joint Liability Group (JLG) model.
Three years ago, Loretta Nguyen took a business training class and scraped together several thousand dollars to start silk screening T-shirts and hoodies that she initially sold at street fairs and over the Web.
The Senate has confirmed the appointment of former CGAP CEO Elizabeth Littlefield to head the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).
Technology-leading African microfinance institution continues its commitment to innovation and delivery of enhanced banking solutions with field-based account origination solution. In keeping with emerging trends in microfinance banking, Women’s World Banking Ghana (WWBG) continues its commitment to innovation with the deployment of a digital writing solution from ExpeData .
Morgan Stanley on June 16 announced microfinance organization Pro Mujer as the winner of the second annual Morgan Stanley Social Enterprise Strategy Challenge. This initiative features teams of Morgan Stanley employees providing pro-bono strategic advice to non-profits and competing for the honor of the best pro-bono advisor. The team developing business strategy recommendations for Pro Mujer was selected as the winner for providing the highest-impact analysis and advice.
This is an extraordinary story of women's empowerment in rural India. Women in Satara district in Maharashtra run a bank and a B-school successfully.
Sunny Mahant had been working as a product marketing manager for nine years at Cisco when he experienced an epiphany on a trip to India.
On that trip, Mahant and his wife, photographer Geidre Nakutyte, witnessed firsthand the brutish conditions under which very young children work in India, and the extreme poverty suffered by their families. He came home determined to make a difference in the lives of young Indians.
Offbeat financal avenues find buyers slowly but steadily. With the global meltdown behind, European debt crisis ahead, global economists are busy pondering new sectors like microfinance, carbon finance, water credit and so on to find hope for market expansion.
A 29-year-old lawyer is kicking off a new microfinance organization Tuesday that will help others as she herself was helped.
Barclays and international development organisations CARE International (CARE) and Plan have launched Banking on Change in Ghana, a unique and pioneering microfinance initiative aimed at reaching half a million people in ten countries across the world and sixty three thousand people in Ghana.
Women’s empowerment is one of the subjects included in the bilateral discussions between India and the United States, said Andrew T. Simkin, U.S. Consul General in Chennai, here on Friday.
There is a banker who is still feted across the world, collecting accolades and honours wherever he goes. The institution he founded more than 20 years ago is unscathed by the current financial crisis, and his opinion is more sought after than ever before as politicians and economists desperately try to fix our bankrupt system. Muhammad Yunus is to economic development what Nelson Mandela is to world peace.
Founder of an international nonprofit, a speaker before the World Bank, Presidential Scholar, a veteran in microfinance, participant in a discussion with the Dalai Lama — the graduating senior from San Jose's Notre Dame High School has packed more into her slender years than most people do into a lifetime. And she's not yet 18.
Jacqueline Novogratz interviewed by David Serchuk (Forbes). Jacqueline Novogratz is the founder and chief executive officer of Acumen Fund, a nonprofit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to combat global poverty.
Be sure to read Founder, Dana Dakin’s Story of how she traveled to Ghana in 2003 on the occasion of her sixtieth birthday to find a village and start a microlending program.
Kingsolver, the bestselling author writes of a visit to the rural countryside of Orissa in northeastern India, where she interacted with the Akandalamuni Women's Club, which has 15 members. "Like millions of women in South Asia, they started their own microcredit group. Attending twice-monthly meetings and putting two rupees per month (about four cents) into a joint savings account qualified them for small loans, collateralized by group guarantee. This year they borrowed enough to rent a five-acre plot for growing sugar cane, from which they share the proceeds."
Microenterprise is an escape valve for social tension at times of crisis,
and microbusinesses do a better job of weathering the storm than bigger companies because they are used to overcoming difficulties – a positive effect that is further multiplied when it involves women.
India should work towards empowering women economically -- through microfinance programs -- and also encourage greater participation of women leaders in panchayats, or village councils, writes author Shoba Narayan in this opinion piece.
A teacher by training, Lynne Randolph Patterson never expected to find herself at the helm of Pro Mujer, a multi-national financial services company.
Few women in Africa work in regular, formal sector jobs, and even those generally earn too little to escape from poverty. Decades after the world officially recognized a human right to gender equality, women remain largely excluded from the upper ranks of government and business, earn less than their male co-workers and face an array of customs, traditions and attitudes that limit their opportunities.
A hive of social activity: where French entrepreneurs benefit from collective intelligence. After graduating, Charlotte Hochman worked with several grassroots organisations in India and Brazil, one of which was Village Action. She then launched La Ruche, or ‘The Beehive’ in English, a NGO that is open to anyone proposing an innovative solution to a social or ecological challenge...
In recognition of Mother's Day (May 10, 2009), Calvert Foundation is undertaking a major "Honor Mom" campaign to channel new resources from investors and donors into international microfinance and microlending initiatives benefiting women, who are lifting themselves and their families out of poverty.
Jessica Jackley, co-founder of Kiva, the world's first person-to-person micro-lending Web site, spoke at the Shell Auditorium April 14. Jackley was invited by Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Beyond Traditional Borders Director, as part of the Rice 360 initiative. Kiva, which means "agreement" or "unity" in Swahili, has helped nearly 500,000 lenders across the globe loan approximately $67 million to individual entrepreneurs from 45 developing countries since its founding three and a half years ago, the organization's Web site said.
Some progress has already been achieved, and this is encouraging. However, more needs to be done to introduce democratic and secular values into the relationships between men and women. In the absence of these, the concept of gender equality is a mere fantasy.
The global micro-credit industry has been hurt by the financial crisis but loan defaults by the world's poor remain low and private equity money will still fuel growth, a micro-finance group said. But Women's World Banking, billed as the world's biggest network of micro-finance institutions, said micro-financiers were struggling to raise funds to loan to the poor because of soaring borrowing costs and predicted growth would slow sharply.
Government policy responses to the global financial meltdown must focus on the role of women as economic agents in order to address the all-too-familiar trend of women and girls suffering disproportionately during times of economic crisis, speakers told the Commission on the Status of Women this afternoon as it held an expert panel discussion on the gender perspectives of the crisis.
Launched in the fall of 2003, WAM was created to support women in the microfinance industry. The mission of Women Advancing Microfinance International is to advance and support women working in microfinance through education and training, by promoting leadership opportunities, and by increasing visibility of their participation and talent while maintaining a work/life balance.
Welcome to this blog about Microfinance, Innovations and Sustainable Development