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Author: Josh Weinstein

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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What I Do: Borrower Interviews

What I Do: Borrower Interviews

As a Kiva Fellow, I go to the field to interview borrowers about the status of their loan and talk about the business, the family, and their dreams for the future.  Usually I do a short write-up to update the Kiva lenders, but sometimes I go overboard and write an essay.  This is not representative of most journal entries, but I found her to be such an interesting client that I wanted to share it.  I titled this journal update…

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Green Products and the Triple Bottom Line

Green Products and the Triple Bottom Line

The core philosophy of microfinance is the double bottom line.  It refers to the goals of the organization, which are a) to be profitable, and b) to be socially impactful.  But there is another philosophy known as the triple bottom line, which adds ecological impact.  Sometimes referred to as “people, planet, profit,” TBL promotes an environmentally-friendly approach to development.  To that end, there are a host of products that serve each of the three goals.  In this post, I will…

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Repost: Yunus v. Compartamos

Repost: Yunus v. Compartamos

In a shameless attempt to fill the gap left by me not having any material, I am reposting an old favorite.  Also, it is going up on the Kiva Fellows blog this morning, so it made sense to put it up here again. Within the international development community, a debate for the heart of the movement came to the fore two years ago with the IPO of Compartamos, the largest microfinance institution in Mexico.  Divisive and controversial, Compartamos’ decision to…

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Branch Rollout in Cebu

Branch Rollout in Cebu

This weekend I went to Cebu, an island east of Negros, for the Kiva rollout in the NWTF branches.  I traveled as part of a five-person team, including Massah, the photography consultant, Raymond, the research manager, Jubert, the IT manager, and Presy, the Kiva coordinator.  Pocholo, a friend of Raymond’s, needed a lift to Cebu and caught a ride with us.  The six of us loaded the infamous red van and left at 7 AM on Thursday morning.  The road…

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I’m Changing Photo Sites

I’m Changing Photo Sites

The suits over at Yahoo have informed me that I’ve reached my 200-photo limit on my Flickr account.   For unlimited storage space, the capitalists are asking for $24.95 per year.  In protest, I am moving all my pictures to Picasa, Google’s free photo uploader.  I will continue to upload new photos to Flickr, with the link displayed in the sidebar.  But for the full collection of photos, check the Picasa site, which also has a link on the sidebar.  Click…

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Helping Haiti: Microfinance and Natural Disasters

Helping Haiti: Microfinance and Natural Disasters

What is the role of microfinance in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster?   The short answer is that, under the circumstances, microcredit is less effective.  A prerequisite for microcredit is a functioning economy.  Goods and services need to be worth money for capital infusions to make a difference.  For example, an MFI lends money to a woman for the purpose of opening a general store.  The woman uses the loan to buy soap from one retailer and soft…

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Two Days in La Castellana

Two Days in La Castellana

Last week, I spent two days in the town of La Castellana, visiting the NWTF branch here.  I went to speak with existing Kiva clients about their business to send an update to the lenders, and also interview new clients to post up on the site.  You can always tell the profiles and updates I’ve written because I try to employ the same literary techniques that make this blog so readable (or unreadable, depending on your perspective).  Of the six…

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