Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.
+1 212 318 2000
Europe, Middle East, & Africa
+44 20 7330 7500
+65 6212 1000
Sorry I missed this very important event—the giving of the Nobel Peace Prize to Muhammad Yunus of Grameen Bank for his pioneering work in micro-credit. When I was in the Peace Corps, the conventional wisdom was that poor farmers—poor people in general—were terrible credit risks and could/would not pay back loans given them to lift them out of poverty. So the paradigm was to grant them money—just give it—because the only difference between rich and poor was, well, just money. This was very Ford Foundation-think.
Didn’t work very well, as we now know. Government bureaucracy and corruption absorbed most of the grant money. Micro-credit works because it is designed specifically for local entrepreneurs, most of them women, within local markets.
But—here’s a controversy for you—does micro-credit really work? My economist colleague Mike Mandel tells me there are lots of economists who think micro-credit is all heart but no result. He wants real numbers showing how much of the loans outstanding are really paid off. And he wants to know how you differentiate the benefits of the micro-credit program of Grameen Bank from the overall economic growth sweeping through India these past years.
Very interesting questions.
Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.