Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real people getting real help, October 10, 2012
This review is from: Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories (Kindle Edition)
This books does what it says on the tin: it gives readers a collection of true stories about how microfinance has helped real people, people with names and faces, improve their lives by giving them small loans at manageable rates of interest so that they can develop their small businesses and lift themselves out of poverty.

These people are not captains of industry or visionaries bringing new technologies to the world. They are people who do things that have always been done making products that are always appreciated. One woman makes colorful clothing very popular in her town. She's no Coco Chanel but she makes traditional dresses that sell for a few dollars and that her buyers keep as their Sunday best (or Friday best perhaps). Another woman repaid a loan late because she used the money to pay for cancer treatments. She didn't apply for debt-forgiveness, it was a matter of pride and principle for her to repay her loan and then get another one to expand her business. A pastor in Kenya used a $489 loan to expand his school bag business. He was able to hire an extra worker and buy material in bulk to make 280 school bags. The loan directly helped him and indirectly promoted education.

What this book won't give you is heaps of raw data on the millions of people helped by the microfinance concept pioneered by Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus since the 1970s. It's also a little short on the technical workings of Zidisha, the microfinance organization sponsoring this ebook. What it does deliver is a great feel-good sell about microfinance. The stats and the technical stuff is available on the internet if you want it. This book does something different: it talks about microfinance in dramatic people stories.

Vincent Poirier, Montreal
Disclaimer: I was asked to review this book by Zidisha. I am a strong supporter of microfinance and I was very happy to read this book and help Zidisha.
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