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Making Microfinance More Effective

Harvard Business Review

Personal savings, insurance, credit, cash transfers from family and friends and other financing mechanisms offer promising opportunities to create security and steady employment but they require a nuanced understanding of product design and the local market conditions in order to be effective. For the 2.5 Economics & Society Digital Article

Under Fire, Microfinance Faces Falling Out of Favor

Harvard Business Review

Microfinance has come under fire in the past 18 months, triggered in part by SKS Microfinance's IPO. Critics complain that the institutions supporting microfinance have become too greedy, and many are using this as an argument to deeply regulate or, even more, cut support to microfinance operations. I hope not.

Why CEOs have Liberal Arts Degrees

Mills Scofield

A career advisor once told me that those who pursue liberal arts majors and enter finance, consulting or technology are not the exceptions.

CEO 73

The Microfinance Contagion Scenario

Harvard Business Review

So far, the Andhra Pradesh (AP) microfinance crisis has largely been viewed as a local issue, with relatively little impact beyond AP or India's borders. Other microfinance crises, in Bolivia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, and Bosnia, have not spread beyond the borders of a particular country. That's exactly what's happening.

How Large NGOs Are Using Data to Transform Themselves

Harvard Business Review

A critical part was adapting a proven model in a related field: microfinance. Frontline Data as Wake Up Call. Using Models Proven Elsewhere.

3 Things Driving Entrepreneurial Growth in Africa

Harvard Business Review

Firms are realizing what microfinance has known for a while: Local self-policing groups, or village headmen who police honor codes, can hedge cash flows in far-flung places. Fatigue may be setting in for some Western investors’ interest in African innovation, particularly those that have yet to reap rewards to brag about.

Scaling Up Without Losing Your Edge

Harvard Business Review

Although they retain a pro-poor focus, they generate the profits necessary for BRAC to be 70% self-financed in Bangladesh, where BRAC is based.

Making Sense of the Many Kinds of Impact Investing

Harvard Business Review

Everyone agrees that impact investing is on the rise. Faced with this uncertainty, most investors have chosen one of three options. Type of impact.

Entrepreneurs: You're More Important Than Your Business Plan

Harvard Business Review

"Would you take a look at my business plan?". But we are interested in much more than these traditional plans. Purpose and Passion. Importance.

Why CEOs have Liberal Arts Degrees

Mills Scofield

A career advisor once told me that those who pursue liberal arts majors and enter finance, consulting or technology are not the exceptions.

Funders Can Give More than Money

Harvard Business Review

Six years ago, David and Donna Allman approached Opportunity with an idea that fell outside our traditional microfinance model: to build a Community Economic Development (CED) program in Nicaragua. We know that microfinance alone will not break the poverty cycle. Finance Innovation Nonprofit CED

Global Entrepreneurs Need New Funding Models

Harvard Business Review

In low-income countries, according to World Bank data in a recent paper by the consultancy Dalberg, 43% of businesses with between 20 and 99 employees say that access to finance is a major constraint. The White House has called this gap between the demand and supply of finance for small and medium enterprises a "market failure.[and]

Using Games to Get a Handle on Bank Risk

Harvard Business Review

Yet unlike in finance, where distributing risk across institutions is the goal, in drug development the focus is on isolating risk. Popular games also tend to spawn communities who share information and strategies about how to overcome hurdles, suggesting that peer to peer education is also possible (this has been seen in microfinance).

President Obama Can Make Start-Up America Succeed

Harvard Business Review

We don't innovate in entrepreneurial finance enough in the U.S.: this week, the White House specifically, for the start-up of Start-Up America.