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Friday, February 2, 2007

Microcredit resource list

Here are some links to a few resources about microcredit that may be useful background for our meeting on Feb. 11th.

SHARE used to work closely with ASMUR, a microcredit lending group in the Bajo Lempa, which had connections with the cattlewomen's cooperative (Mujeres Ganaderas). In fact, our newest SHARE Board member will be Angelica Garcia, who is the Director (I believe) of ASMUR. SHARE is facilitating microcredit lending via some of our grassroots projects with US sisters. -- from Tara / SHARE Director in DC

Main Line Unitarian microlending projects in Latin America
Article in UU World about microcredit projects in 2 congregations, including MLUC's project to sponsor village banks in Latin America. Task force co-chair Don Smith notes that many congregants have been drawn to support an anti-poverty project that is a business proposition and not a handout. Others are attracted by the fact that the money is lent to women.

"Millions for Millions" by Connie Bruck
Van Weigel recommends this article published in the October 30, 2006 issue of the New Yorker. About the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner and high-tech entrepreneurs who are competing to provide credit to the world’s poor.

Grameen Foundation - Main
With tiny loans, financial services and technology, we help the poor, mostly women, start self-sustaining businesses to escape poverty. Founded in 1997 by a group of friends who were inspired by the work of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, our global network of microfinance partners reaches 2.7 million families in 22 countries.

Grameen Foundation at work in Latin America and the Caribbean
El Salvador has severe poverty problems, but since the end of its 12-year civil war in 1992, the country has been working toward building stability. Microfinance is fairly well developed in El Salvador compared to other countries in the region, with 14 percent of the estimated demand being met.

ASAPROSAR and Las Melidas
Grameen Foundations partner institutions in El Salvador

UN International Year of Microcredit 2005
The year of Microcredit 2005 calls for building inclusive financial sectors and strengthening the powerful, but often untapped, entrepreneurial spirit existing in communities around the world.

What is Microcredit? Article by Muhammad Yunus (2003)
I am proposing that we put labels to various types of microcredit so that we can clarify at the beginning of our discussion which microcredit we are talking about. This is very important for arriving at clear conclusions, formulating right policies, designing appropriate institutions and methodologies. Instead of just saying "microcredit" we should specify which category of microcredit.