Saturday, March 17, 2007

Micro Lending

Micro Lending is high up in the news rotations these days, especially after the Grameen Bank founder, Muhammad Yunus, received the Nobel Peace Prize this past year.

So what if we want to learn more about micro credit or lend money to people in developing countries, or people in the United States, who are starting their own businesses?

Here's an article on Slate that details one person's investigation of micro lending companies.

One thing I found interesting was the article's assertion that the best way to give is to give consistently to a few organizations, it creates a larger "bang for the buck."

What's this got to do with poverty? While government has an important role to create level playing fields so that the many have an equal chance to make it, citizens also have a role. What if we could divert some of the billions that we Americans spend on coffee, makeup or other "essentials" into anti-poverty programs that work; such as micro credit? What would that do to reduce poverty?