When Microcredit Won’t Do

By Tina Rosenberg

Darby Films

Greg Van Kirk teaches an entrepreneur how to give an eye exam.

If you asked poverty experts to name the single most significant new concept in the field in the last few decades, chances are they would say microcredit.  Microcredit is the lending of very small amounts of money to very poor people to help them invest in things that have the potential to bring income later on — a loan of $50 to buy a sewing machine to make clothes, for instance, or piglets to raise and sell.  It reaches nearly 100 million clients in more than 100 countries.
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