Over half the world's population lives in poverty (earning < $2/day). Microfinance comprises a series of tools, such as microcredit (tiny business loans), microsavings, microinsurance, etc., that enable the working poor to lift themselves out of poverty in a way that's both sustainable and scalable for everyone. For example, in Dominican Republic it costs only $34 to lift one person out of poverty for the rest of their life (more details on this example at the meetup). Compare that to aid programs, such as $20/month feeding programs, and you can quickly see the benefits of self-sustaining microfinance programs over traditional aid. Are you curious about microfinance (e.g. "What is it? Why should I care?"), or are you well-versed in the field and ready to start working on projects? Either way, this is the meetup for you! We will discuss the history, structure, and social implications of microfinance (MF) programs around the world, sharing ideas on how to get involved right away as we work together to eradicate poverty. This is a free, info-only, informal, casual, come-and-go group that will increase your social awareness.
According to Muhammad Yunus in his 2006 Nobel
Prize acceptance speech, 60% of the world's population (> 3
billion people) live on only 6% of the income generated every
year, while the remaining 40% receives the rest. This means that over 2 billion people attempt to live on earnings of $2/day, while over
a billion more subsist on $1/day or less. Extreme poverty is a
major contributing factor of many social in many social crises,
such as starvation, perpetuation of preventable disease, and lack
of access to education. Microfinance is a collection of financial services provided to the working poor in developing countries in order to empower them to escape poverty. Microcredit, the most well known microfinance tool, is the provision of small loans to the working poor so they can start businesses meeting the needs of their particular community. This creates a win-win-win, in that the microfinance institution (MFI) receives its money back with interest, the microentrepreneur starts a profitable business that can expand with future loans, and the lenders (us) have the satisfaction of eradicating poverty. Please check out www.kiva.org for more information on microfinance and how you can begin to participate right now.
Official Website: http://roov.com/roovs/463/gatherings/259
Added by socialtopher on September 16, 2008