Making Microfinance More Effective

Harvard Business Review

The Grameen model of microfinance gained a great deal of attention in the international development field after early data showed that it was associated with high repayment and low default. For example, digital platforms can be configured to improve the customer experience by offering sub-accounts or labeling accounts, and they can provide bank managers with real-time information and other decision aids that can help banks provide better service to clients. For the 2.5

Innovating The Brick-and-Mortar Injustice Infrastructure

Mills Scofield

This week''s post is by Andy Posner , Co-Founder & Executive Director of Capital Good Fund ( CGF ), a non-profit microfinance organization targeting the root causes of poverty through innovative micro-loans and personal financial coaching.

Women as Microfinance Leaders, Not Just Clients

Harvard Business Review

We're a network of microfinance organizations; we exist to share practices and develop the leadership skills required by a sector that has grown up fast. And as you might be aware, microfinance is a phenomenon that, while it did not set out to be "for women," has mainly turned out to be. In fact, our data indicate that the percentage of women in senior management and boards has been decreasing over the past eight years. Diversity Gender microfinance WWB

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. In a recent paper, Jonathan Morduch and Jonathan Conning explain the role of debt and equity financing in the microfinance industry.

Lessons for Social Entrepreneurs from the Microfinance Crisis

Harvard Business Review

The microfinance industry has in just a few years gone from making headlines for the Nobel Peace Prize to stories about limited impact, allegedly abusive tactics, client suicides, government crackdowns, major lenders struggling with insolvency and the forcible removal of Mohammed Yunus as Managing Director of Grameen Bank. But we shouldn't ignore how the microfinance industry made itself vulnerable to attacks with a political motive.

Servant Leadership Observer ? November 2010

Modern Servant Leader

Why Technology Managers Make Great Leaders. How to Handle a Seagull Manager. Do You Have a “Seagull Manager”? Peer-to-Peer Microfinance: A Sustainable Solution to Poverty. Task Prioritization and Time Management – John Maxwell Style. Management.

How Large NGOs Are Using Data to Transform Themselves

Harvard Business Review

” So the Seilers responded by piloting a program called the Pathway of Hope, which focuses on providing case management for families. A critical part was adapting a proven model in a related field: microfinance.

The 3 Preconditions for an Entrepreneurial Society

Harvard Business Review

And if you need access to money, crowdfunding platforms and microfinance options make that easier than ever. I have written elsewhere about the need for management innovation in large firms to make work more engaging and fulfilling. Entrepreneurial management Labor Digital Article

Businesses Serving the Poor Need to Get Over Their Unease About Profit

Harvard Business Review

But even more so, I believe that deep down, managers and executives feel that getting by on razor-thin margins is the morally correct way to do business among the poor. The microfinance industry is a rare D and E success story. Microfinance banks, which provide desperately needed loans to low-income consumers, draw mainstream investors because of their attractive returns.

Can Technology End Poverty?

Harvard Business Review

Shameran Abed, who runs BRAC's microfinance program, explains what happened: "In the first couple months, a lot of our borrowers would send the money through their mobile phones and then physically show up at the branch to check with the accountant that the money had turned up.".

Can Technology End Poverty?

Harvard Business Review

Shameran Abed, who runs BRAC's microfinance program, explains what happened: "In the first couple months, a lot of our borrowers would send the money through their mobile phones and then physically show up at the branch to check with the accountant that the money had turned up.".

Scaling Up Without Losing Your Edge

Harvard Business Review

Following Abed's twist on Schumacher — "small may be beautiful, but big is necessary" — it now touches the lives of an estimated 126 million people with healthcare, education, enterprise development, microfinance and a slew of other programs. Forty years ago, British economist E.F.

The Conference That’s Trying to Reinvent How We Network

Harvard Business Review

When those in the group that had the job givers question pulled off their masks, they discovered that Muhammad Yunus , a Nobel Prize winner for his microfinance work, had been with them, listening carefully to all their suggestions. Networking Managing yourself Article

Global Entrepreneurs Need New Funding Models

Harvard Business Review

In January, Oxfam announced it would team with the asset manager Symbiotics to launch the Small Enterprise Impact Investment Fund (SEIFF), based in Luxembourg. We wanted to do this because we recognize that small enterprises are a very significant engine for development; they create employment, which tends to be more sustainable and better paid than you would find in the more informal microfinance sector," says Oxfam's Nicholas Colloff.

Entrepreneurship Needs to Be a Bigger Part of U.S. Foreign Aid

Harvard Business Review

These colossal “beltway bandits” work everywhere from Afghanistan to Zambia and purport to offer expertise in everything from microfinance to micro-irrigation. Here are two surprising facts. First, the average American estimates that over 25% of the U.S.

The Innovation Mindset in Action: Shantha Ragunathan

Harvard Business Review

Sasikala, a Block Development Officer (BDO), talked to the Kodapattinam villagers about microfinance , only Shantha, of all the villagers, saw the opportunity and took action. To participate in a microfinance campaign, the village had to form a Self Help Group (SHG) of about 20 people, with each member contributing a certain amount of money every month. Undeterred, Shantha persisted until she persuaded the required number of people to sign up for the microfinance project.

3 Things Driving Entrepreneurial Growth in Africa

Harvard Business Review

A few of these companies manage to transcend national boundaries and scale to a larger size. It has managed to combine international standards with African tastes. In addition, Neo has its own fuel station, which makes it easier to manage what can be a fitful infrastructure. 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.

Give Impact Investing Time and Space to Develop

Harvard Business Review

Without those, the institutions managing the billions of sector dollars won’t be able accurately to assess the risks they are taking and, more important, the returns, both financial and social, they hope to generate. Impact investing has captured the world’s imagination.

How to Make Room in Your Work Life for the Rest of Your Self

Harvard Business Review

The greedy nature of our work (asking us to wear more hats, to do more, to be always on ), combined with the demands of our personal lives and social pressure to be and focus on just one thing, means we need to learn how to manage our portfolio of different identities and the expectations that come with them. While changing how we see ourselves is a necessary first step, in order to manage how others see and relate to us, we also need to change how we act out our identities.

Using Games to Get a Handle on Bank Risk

Harvard Business Review

Risk management processes don't — but they should. 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). The challenge of better risk management cannot be achieved through regulation alone. Finance Research Risk managementBank marketing materials focus on the dreams, anxieties and goals of consumers.

Making Sense of the Many Kinds of Impact Investing

Harvard Business Review

Currently, impact can mean anything from venture investments in new health technologies to microfinance loans in Peru; from affordable housing in the US to renewable energy in India; from social impact bonds to private equity funds that create jobs.

Transforming Rural India Through Agricultural Innovation

Harvard Business Review

Since its inception in 2000, NAF has been involved in a range of interventions—infusion of technology, soil enrichment, efficient farm and water management, improved cattle development, functional literacy, rural sanitation and public health, human resource development, establishment of self-help groups particularly among women, self-employment opportunities and facilitating institutional credit—to address the problem of farm productivity in India.

President Obama Can Make Start-Up America Succeed

Harvard Business Review

Microfinance (Bangladesh), securitization of revenues (Saudi Arabia), and royalty-pay-back funding (Israel) were all invented overseas. Daniel Isenberg is Professor of Management Practice, Babson Global, and founding executive director of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project.