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Micro Lending A Fantastic Not-For-Profit Business Model

By Yaro Starak
12 Comments

I’m reading more and more about the not-for-profit business sector lately and I suspect at some point down the track that may be where I put the greater part of my business energy towards.

Jon from Art of Money posted a great write up about Micro Lending and the Decline of Poverty in Bangladesh after watching an interview with upcoming nobel peace prize recipient, Muhammad Yunus.

Mr Yunus set-up a bank called Grameen which gives out micro loans to the poor. His bank enjoys a 98% repayment rate and distributes most of the loans to women since women have proven to be much more reliable and responsible users of the funds.

Go and read Jon’s write up and I think you will be impressed by this story of one man’s ingenuity to help the world’s poor.

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12 Comments

  • Jon

    Thanks for the link Yaro…it really is an inspiring story.

  • It’s great to see the word spreading about microfinance, and how business tools can be used to fight poverty. At Grameen Foundation, we work to support and expand Grameen-style microfinance programs around the world — along with supporting programs’ operations, we’re creating opportunities for microfinance programs to access global capital markets. Thanks for your interest.

  • I’ve followed the growth of micro-loan initiatives on BBC World over the last couple of years, and they really do seem to be one of the most effective means of *directly* contributing to complete social/economic change in poverty stricken areas. (Particularly rural areas).

    Long may this trend continue – it’s about time that the majority of people on this planet started getting a helping hand, while we in the West moan about *only* having a 3rd generation Ipod, and a sports car which is several years old, most people don’t have clean water! Very sobering, and I’m so pleased that even in mainstream circles, things like micro-loans are beginning to be more extensively discussed.

  • Hi Yaro, Kudos for bringing micro-finance up with your audience; they’re actually in a position to do something about it :) And it’s quite a coincidence for me, as I recently pledged part of my revenue from http://KokuaWeb.com to Unitus, a micro-finance accelerator. Basically, they act as a venture capitalist towards micro-lenders, bringing big injections of cash and know-how that enable the micro-lenders to grow at much faster rates. They’re worth checking out. And for those of you in the US, PBS produced a great show called “The New Heroes” which details the work or Muhammad Yunus among other social entrepreneurs. YOu can order it off their website.

  • I actually saw a documentary on micro lending at the beginning of summer. It was really interesting to see just how much of a difference these tiny amounts of money made in helping these people.

    This is something I could see myself helping out with some time down the road. =)

  • Just a minor nitpick, but it’s a “Nobel” prize, not a “noble” prize.

  • Hi Darren – thanks for the tip, all fixed now.

  • Microcredit In China — Keeping The Power From The People…

    Co-blogger Steve Dickinson and I were discussing microcredit in China the other day. Steve relayed how one of his students in a China law class he taught in Italy a few months back who headed up a leading microcredit agency…

  • Sorry to comment with a downer, but it’s 11 December and I’ve just read this post in Bloglines for about the 3rd time today, and probably the 100th time in the last month. Yaro: feedburner is screwing with your feed. It’s not just you either, but it’s definitely Feedburner.

  • Hey Duncan – I’ve been making some changes in Feedburner so that’s probably to blame. I’ve also noticed lots of problems in my bloglines account too with other blogs, but I trust Feedburner/bloglines will sort things out for me – they will lose customers if they don’t.

  • I’ve watched segments on TV about Mr. Mr Yunus prior to his winning the prize, Noble NOBEL (easy mistake, now I’ll be sure to get it right going forward). What blows me away is how absolutely SIMPLE his concept is. Why is it that over the last 100 years no one has succeeded in the way he has with micro loans. Certainly I think his personality has something to do with the 98% repayment rate.

    There are so many people that can learn from what he is doing, including those lending to under-privilaged in industrialized countries. Unfortunately, the environment that has made this work for him is not quite the same in inner-city UK or US, and I’m not sure the model is of TOO much use in thes countries.

  • Hi Yaro thanks I’m interested in philanthropy and I would like to see someone set up a channel for philanthropic activity on a one on one basis, hooking up philanthropist’s with Indivuals with needs. Somebody with your knowledge and your readership might be able to promote something like that. Hope to see more Philanthropy Larry W

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