Interesting video...I've heard about the micropayment systems a few times before...however, what jumped out at me was the interest rate.
20 to 30%?!
How is that compounded? What are the terms of the loan? Even simple interest would rack up quite a bit of money. I think the whole "responsibility and accountability" argument (as opposed the "free handouts" if you really want to give them that label) is intriguing
and would have some benefits. But I can't imagine the overhead on such loans costs 20 to 30%. If the operation is as efficient as you say it is, and some of the implementation is passed of to other non-profit organizations, why such a high rate? What, just
because it is below 300% that the local loan sharks offer, it is a better deal?
Are you actually teaching these people how to stay out of debt on top of this? Is there any financial educational process that goes with this? Or are you just handing out loans and in a sense "conditioning" them to become dependent on credit/loans in the future?
You can talk about empowerment all you want, and building businesses, but if you do not teach them anything about money in the process, the cause is potentially lost. Many first time businesses fail for lack of financial education. Or are you saying they
are already educated in terms of the marketplace and this offers them just enough of a lift to get out of poverty?
Sounds like a credit card to me... Maybe if they don't hold a balance after a month they won't have to pay interest?
A summary of the lending rules the company uses would be of interest.
I have been looking at DRIPs (Direct Re-Investment Plans) lately. This looks like a better investment.
I'll coin the phrase DROPs (Direct Re-Investment Opportunity for Poverty) to describe Mike Murray's objectives. Do you know that only 2% of philanthropy in the US goes outside the US.
With a $100 loan, a woman can purchase a water bucket & a dairy cow. It will take 2 years to pay off this loan.
By 7 years she will be self-sustaining and her family will be able to go to school. Her family will break the cycle.
Over 7 years seems like such a long time for the 30-second MTV generation. How can we do this faster? (hope I quoted him right on that)
How do we get this money to the people, and be sure it gets there? Paypal? Mail? The journalists who risk their lives every day, like
Kevin Sites? The aid workers who have access to the Internet? Eco-tourists who want to give a little extra? Are there banks or money transfer stations people can go to? How does this get distributed?
How do we see the results of our donations? Some ideas. The
Million Dollar Home Page becomes full of people's joyful faces for each hundred dollar loan.
Digg becomes a list of different testimonials from the field on how people will use the money, with dugg people receiving more loans.
Slashdot, well, Slashdot better not change.
Microfinance is a great idea that sounds like it just may work.
Read this book if you want to open your eyes to the world of insurmountable poverty.
Not so much agreeing with that
Smurf Video though. There are many other ways to get your point across with positive messages.