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FINANCES — Boarding the microcredit train

Posted by Página do Microcrédito em 21 junho, 2007

By STEPHANIE HOO – The Associated Press

Microcredit – it sounds like a great idea, right? Tiny loans, often less than $100, to poor people in developing countries that they can use to start small home-based businesses or otherwise invest in their futures.

Microcredit’s proponents say it is better than charity because it’s self-sustaining: as loans are repaid, they are lent out to anew. So, can ordinary Americans put their money to work in poor countries in this way?

The answer: Yes and no, says Eric Thurman, co-author of “A Billion Bootstraps: Microcredit, Barefoot Banking, and the Business Solution for Ending Poverty.”

In other words, it’s not going to replace charity just yet, he says.

Thurman should know. A former CEO of Opportunity International, HOPE International and Geneva Global Inc., he has worked in international philanthropy for decades.

His book, co-written with philanthropist Phil Smith, offers advice on investing in microcredit programs, such as considering whether you want to make a longtime commitment and making sure a group is reputable.

But, it’s not for everyone.

Thurman explains.

Source: http://www.sanluisobispo.com

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