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The "Entrepreneur Myth" Myth

The "Entrepreneur Myth" Myth

Muhammad Yunus, the godfather of microfinance, contends that everyone is an entrepreneur.  And microfinance is about individual economic empowerment, built on the premise that credit is both a human right and a path to economic freedom.  This reading has been distorted by those who talk about the “entrepreneur myth,” which says that microfinance romanticizes the poor by pushing a false by-your-bootstraps narrative.  This narrative, in turn, undermines development by giving the poor something they don’t want – credit for a…

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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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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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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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Another Trip

Another Trip

Capping off a marathon month of travel, I am spending the weekend in Cebu.  NWTF is rolling out Kiva in several of the Cebu branches and I am coming along to give a short presentation to the loan officers and branch manager on the history of Kiva, the mission, and how it works.  There will be five of us, including myself.  The Kiva coordinator, Presy, will discuss the process for getting the information for the borrower profile.  The MIS manager,…

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The Journalist

The Journalist

This week Negros Women for Tomorrow published it’s first newsletter in several years.  I know the girl putting it together, so she gave me 250 words (shortened first to 150, then 100).  Here it is: Over the past year, Kiva has partnered with MFIs like NWTF across the Philippines to bring microfinance to the masses and offer people before the chance to participate. NWTF and Kiva joined forces six short months ago, funding a total of $150,000 in Project Dungganon…

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