How to Grow a Social Business

By Tina Rosenberg

In Tuesday’s column, “When Microcredit Won’t Do,” I wrote about microconsignment, a way for village entrepreneurs to sell innovative and important products for which there is no established market — such as solar lamps, water purifiers, stoves and reading glasses — without having to take on debt.  Instead, village women are given the products and the training to sell them.  Once they make the sale, they repay the supplier and keep a portion of the proceeds.  Done right, microconsignment provides new businesses for village women — and helps make life healthier and more prosperous for her neighbors.
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