A major amendment to the fight against poverty in the last few decades has been the development of microcredit lending programs, or programs that extend small loans to very poor people for self-employment projects in order to generate income to care for themselves and their families. Stemming from Muhammad Yunus’s work in economics and microfinance, the Grameen Bank was born in 1976 beginning a trend that today continues to revolutionize the way in which we reach out to the “bottom of the economic pyramid”, or those 3 billion people living in extreme poverty on less than $2 a day.
The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have forced policymakers to change the way in which they view poverty, the world’s poorest populations, and current poverty alleviation methods. By modernizing perspectives and reevaluating preconceived notions about the bottom of the economic pyramid, a new framework for the reduction of poverty will evolve.
This thesis originally developed from my interest in Corporate Social Responsibility and my internship experience at Burson-Marsteller Paris writing for Groupe Danone’s internal communication network regarding its recent partnership with The Grameen Bank to create the Grameen Danone Foods Social Business Enterprise in Bangladesh. It was here during my first semester at AUP and L’Institut Catholique de Paris that this internship turned me on to the greater importance of the United Nations MDG for 2015, with goal number one having measureable results “to reduce by half extreme poverty and hunger by 2015”.1 My experience at Burson-Marsteller Paris first introduced me to microcredit and Professor Muhammad Yunus’s research. Now, with just five years left to reach its first measurable goal, I wonder about the progress of the MDGs, specifically the first with respect to the developments of microcredit lending worldwide.
Intrigued by how I could personally get involved in microcredit lending, and with the gracious help of my father, I discovered Kiva.org, a Bay Area non-profit microcredit lending organization that pledges itself to reducing global poverty one microcredit loan at a time.
|School:||The American University of Paris (France)|
|Department:||Conflict Resolution and Civil Society Development|
|Source:||MAI 58/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Economics, International Relations|
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