Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Monitor Poverty Series, Installment 3

Fighting poverty requires thinking differently. Moving people from aid to self-sufficiency is a goal.

Thinking differently challenges accepted ways. Here's an example from today's installment of the Christian Science Monitor series on global poverty:
Micro- and small-business lending challenges the idea that enterprise is a uniquely "Western" value. When ingenious nongovernmental organizations and lenders such as Grameen Bank in Bangladesh make small loans for small-scale garment and food-processing businesses, generally to women, self-sufficiency flourishes. The loans are audited and community-based, with default rates a fraction of the International Monetary Fund's tragically bad big-loan performance. For self-sustaining enterprise, small really is beautiful.
The founder of microcredit offers this definition of it and its several "categories."

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