Category Archives: Microfinance

Maria Otero – CEO of ACCION


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Breaking Through: Grameen Foundation USA Microfinance Programs

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Muhammad Yunus

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Muhammad Yunus Wins Peace Prize

The Bangladeshi who established a bank for the poor has been named winner of the eighth Seoul Peace Prize.The biennial prize of 200,000 dollars, awarded to Muhammad Yunus, honours peace efforts by politicians, academics, activists and international organizations.

“His tireless endeavor to root out poverty and create a new model of giving credit to the poor will bear fruit in terms of greater peace in the world,” the Seoul Prize Cultural Foundation said.

It said Yunus, dubbed “Banker to the Poor,” began fighting poverty during a 1974 famine in Bangladesh. He set up a small bank, Grameen Bank, to give them access to credit.

Yunus is the developer and founder of the concept of “microcredit” for entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans.

The success of Grameen and Yunus’s new banking concept has been emulated in 23 countries, the foundation said.

The Seoul Peace Prize, established in 1990, commemorates the 1988 Seoul Olympics, which drew as many as 160 countries and were seen as breaking the ideological wall between East and West.

Yunus is the eighth winner of the prize, whose other recipients include UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the Czech Republic’s former president Vaclav Havel and international relief organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam.

The awards ceremony will be held in Seoul on October 19.

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Filed under Microfinance Loan Cycle

“Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on, you can “sponsor a business” and help the world’s working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you’ve sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.”

“Kiva partners with existing microfinance institutions. In doing so, we gain access to outstanding entrepreneurs from impoverished communities world-wide. Our partners are experts in choosing qualified borrowers. That said, they are usually short on funds. Through, our partners upload their borrower profiles directly to the site so you can lend to them.”

“Kiva provides a data-rich, transparent lending platform for the poor. We are constantly working to make the system more transparent to show how money flows throughout the entire cycle. The below diagram shows briefly how money gets from you to a third-world borrower, and back!”


“Kiva is using the power of the internet to facilitate one-to-one connections that were previously prohibitively expensive. Child sponsorship has always been a high overhead business. Kiva creates a similar interpersonal connection at much lower costs due to the instant, inexpensive nature of internet delivery. The individuals featured on our website are real people who need a loan and waiting for socially-minded individuals like you to lend them money.”


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International Forum Social Entrepreneurship Award: Muhammad Yunus


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Social Impact Investing

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