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Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A collection of inspirational stories, October 12, 2012
This review is from: Venture: A Collection of True Microfinance Stories (Kindle Edition)
I have been a lender through Zidisha for about six months. It is wonderful that through this nonprofit organization people can participate in microlending on a small scale. Just a few dollars from each lender can be pooled together to help someone else in another country tremendously. Especially because Zidisha, unlike many other microfinance groups, offers low interest rates to the borrower.
If you like to read about the everyday lives of people in different cultures you will enjoy the short essays in this self-published book. At the time of my posting this review, 689 people on Zidisha had received loans for their small business endeavors.
Julia Kurnia, the remarkable woman who founded Zidisha, has focused on 35 of these borrowers in this book. Sure you could read these stories in a more fragmented form if you had time to read through all, as of now 689 profiles and their comments and related blog posts, but who has the time for that? The essay about each person was written by a volunteer who actually visited them. Also included are some of the comments the borrower has posted on their own profile page.
The book is wonderfully interactive. If you are fascinated by a particular person's story you can click on a link at the end of the chapter about them and it will take you to their Zidisha profile page, where you will see their picture and can read more details about their loans and possibly find more blog posts, photos and borrower comments.
I'm sure you'll be inspired by the difficulties many of these people face and the grace with which they handle challenges in their lives. You'll get a glimpse into the workings of the communities in which they live, their family lives and the successes and in some cases failures of their businesses.
This book helps answer the often debated question of whether microfinance loans really help lift people out of poverty or harm them. Judge for yourself by reading the borrowers comments in their own words.
By purchasing this book you will be helping to support Zidisha's operating costs.
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