Turning Change into Dollar$ -MicroLoans

Innovative business people and multi-national corporations like Danone Yogurt, are finding entrepreneurial ways to enrich themselves, while also helping others.   Some people call this social entrepreneurship, others social  business.  Whatever it is called, it IS working and our challenge is to spread the word.

This blog will spotlight for profit businesses and/or practices that have or could successfully launch this duality of purpose. I will report on their goals and achievements, along with programs designed to encourage such pursuit. Entrepreneurs, would-be entrepreneurs, students, nurses, musicians, doctors, lawyers, inventors, everyone is welcome to ponder how you might apply such practices. Guest blogs are welcome to encourage pursuit of these goals.

The Need for Money– Microloans  Jane R. Plitt 2011

Money, especially start-up and operating capital,  has always been a challenge to find for small businesses, but especially so for women.   Back in 1888, when Harper was launching her business, she had $360 of her lifetime savings to apply to her new venture, a healthy hair and skin salon in Rochester, NY, while George Eastman had $1 million in venture capital for launching his KODAK camera.  The challenge is even harder for poor women around the world.

Bangladesh Economist Loans Women  $42

In 1974 Professor Muhmmad Yunus and his students from Chittagong University, Bengal, observed poor women making bamboo stools in Jobra, but barely making a profit because the could not get money at reasonable rates.  As an economist, he realized there was
a problem and handed them $27 for 42 women.    As a result of that successful experiment, he created Grameen Bank, to provide small loans to needy people with little collateral who could not obtain reasonable,conventional financing.

Graeman Bank and Yunus Succeed

Today, there are over 2, 564 Graeman branches, with 19,800 employees lending to 8.29 million borrowers in 81,367 villages.  Weekly, the Bank collects $1.5 million.  Payback is amazing.  97% of loan are paid back; a rate that exceeds the norm for conventional banks.  Women receive 97% of the loans!

Bank and Yunus Create New World Model and Receive Nobel Peace Prize

While the numbers within Bengal are impressive, what is just as impressive is that this model has gone global.  Over 58 countries are using it, including the US, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway.
In 2006, Graeman Bank and Professor Yunus received the Nobel Peace Prize!!!!  What might you do?

Share your comments and guest blogs! E-mail: marthamatildaharper@hotmail.com


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