Stop Paying The Poor So Much

Recently I was asked to serve on a panel after a screening of the documentary Poverty Inc. In the course of the discussion I brought on the story about the Haitian woman who was employed by a nonprofit run by Americans and was able to save $2,000 over the course of 6 months to buy […]

The Poor are not Hungry, They are Malnourished

Hunger is different from malnutrition. Hunger means you don’t have enough food eat. Being malnourished means that you don’t have enough of the right food to eat. This is a huge distinction that gets lost in development. One could argue that malnourishment can fall under the umbrella of hunger but the problem with that is that […]

Don’t Teach A Man To Fish. Start A Fishing Company

Let’s cut to the chase. The phrase “Give a man a fish he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish he eats for a lifetime” is simple and seems like a revelation but is incredibly problematic. First off, it assumes the poor don’t know how to fish. In other words, the poor have […]

Portrait of a Business in Northern Uganda

Individual stories give us great insight into what the poor face on a daily basis but they also can distort the picture because we assume the stories we here are everyone’s story. As you can expect most stories we hear are the most extreme or interesting because stories are meant to grab our attention. Here […]

Money Lending and Why People Borrow From the Mafia

By now most people are familiar with the outrageous interest rates money lenders charge the poor. In rural Pakistan the average interest rate was 78% even though the default rate was only 2%. In Chennai, India a working capital loan had an interest payment of 4.69% per day. To put that in perspective, a $5 […]

The Poor Need People With Ambition

The University of Pennsylvania did an experiment where students were given $5 for fill out of short survey and then shown two flyers from Save the Children asking them for a donation. The first flyer detailed the global poverty problem with 3 million children in Malawi facing malnutrition along with drought in Zambia and 11 […]

Microfinance in a Social Business

The greatest difficulty in opening banking services to the poor is the lack of information. The poor live on the margins of society and are absent from documented processes. The low volume of money they both earn and spend make it difficult for any type of financial history to be created for them.  Group lending […]