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Month: March 2010

Travel Notification

Travel Notification

Today I leave for Thailand.  I’ll be spending the weekend in Bangkok, four days in Koh Penang, one night in Chiang Mai, and four days in Pai before returning to Bangkok for four more days.  On April 4th I fly to Rangoon in Myanmar for a ten-day trek through the kingdom.  I will be updating the blog whenever I get a chance.

Microenterprise to SME: A Thought Exercise Pt. II

Microenterprise to SME: A Thought Exercise Pt. II

This is the third post of a three–part series on small- and medium enterprises.  It is the second of a two-part post. The other day I discussed six actions or programs a microfinance institution (MFI) can take to help clients convert their business from a micro-enterprise to a small- to medium enterprise (SME).  Today, I will cover the final six.

Sleeping in the Bed You Make

Sleeping in the Bed You Make

“If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose- because it contains all the others- the fact that they were the people who created the phrase to make money. No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity- to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created.” –…

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Pacquiao vs. Clottey: The Event

Pacquiao vs. Clottey: The Event

Tomorrow is a big day in the Philippines.  For two hours during the day, the country grinds a halt.  The crime rate falls to zero, because the would-be criminals are shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the TV, watching a national superstar represent the Philippines on the world stage.  I’m talking about the pay-per-view fight between Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey.  To say Pacquiao is anything less than a revered treasure here in country would be an understatement.  He is fighting for…

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A Tangential Cultural Filler

A Tangential Cultural Filler

One side benefit of coming to the Philippines has been that my music consumption has skyrocketed.  Here are the ten albums making the rounds lately: 1.  Percy Hill, “Color in Bloom” [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC2zkkBIlmg]

Microenterprise to SME: A Thought Exercise pt. I

Microenterprise to SME: A Thought Exercise pt. I

This is the third post of a three–part series on small- and medium enterprises.  It is a two-part post. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Z66wVo7uNw] A month ago, I attended a conference in Manila sponsored by the Microfinance Council of the Philippine Islands.  I wrote briefly about the level of cooperation among the participants, but have yet to share what I learned.  The conference – titled “Operationalizing Social Performance Monitoring (SPM)” – brought together a dozen microfinance institutions (MFIs) and lenders from across the country…

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The Tradeoffs of Serving the Poorest

The Tradeoffs of Serving the Poorest

This past weekend I went with four coworkers and a lecturer at Ateneo University Business School to a province called Aklan.  I woke up at 5:00 AM Friday morning in order to catch the ferry to Iloilo at 8:00.  We drove five and a half hours north to Kalibo, where we stayed in Sampiguita Resort, “where it’s Christmas everyday.”  It is the vision of Sam Butcher, the American founder and creative genius behind the Precious Moments dolls – a collectible…

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Hello, This is Manila. How Can I Help You?

Hello, This is Manila. How Can I Help You?

Last week I tried to pay my credit card bill online.  Using a different computer, the site wanted to verify my identity with a security question – “what is the name of your elementary school?”  After three failed attempts, the system locked my account, forcing me to call to re-activate.  When I called Capital One, the girl on the other end of the line spoke perfect English, though she had a slight, almost unnoticeable accent that has become very familiar…

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Solar Energy in the Developing World

Solar Energy in the Developing World

This is a journal about the practice and theory of microfinance, and, more broadly, international economic development and poverty alleviation globally.  If you’d like to get new posts sent to your inbox, please sign up, or subscribe to to my RSS feed.  Thanks. In an earlier post, I talked about green products and the concept of the triple bottom line.  Environmental cookstoves save money, save lives, and produce less carbon emissions.  Believe it or not, black carbon, or soot from…

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Talisay to Bago: A Day’s Work

Talisay to Bago: A Day’s Work

On Wednesday morning, I woke up at 7:00 to get ready for call I had with some head honchos at Kiva about how we can put solar energy loans up on the Kiva website.  After that, I had to talk to the Kiva microfinance partnerships manager for Asian MFIs about an Excel model he built that automatically generates profiles to be uploaded onto the Kiva website.  I am modifying it to fit the specific needs of NWTF, but the process…

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