Microfinance People Think Differently

Here’s a timely topic given the Occupy movements taking place around the world at the minute.

Ever wonder why banks make so much profit? It’s our money they are using, our money they are losing. Our tax money being used to prop up the ones who saw imaginary dollar signs before they saw the most obvious warning signs! All profit is at the customer’s expense: this is hardly fair when the customer is putting up your working capital.

What about banks that don’t have profit at their heart? What about banks that nurture positive personal growth and encourage social progress? Which would you prefer to support? Surely it’s a no-brainer!

Microfinance is the provision of basic financial services to the poor: people that have no credit and are ignored by the glass-tower profit banks. Microfinance steps in and offers people the chance to save 5 or 10 cents a day: whatever you have got. It offers cheap health insurance to balance out the illnesses that can strike at any time when you live in a slum: contribute to a low cost health insurance plan and your income is covered while you recuperate.

Plus, of course, it offers loans: usually guaranteed in a buddy-type system and always at a nominal rate of interest. Remember these are non-profits: aimed at putting customers first, not shareholders.

Women’s World Banking (WWB) is the world’s biggest microfinance institution centred on the needs of women. Seen in all the pictures in this post, Mary Ellen Iskenderian is the President of WWB and is here with us in Kenya to support our mission. Before she came to Africa, MEI (as we call her) had a few rally lessons at a school in New Hampshire. Watch the video and see where it has led so far this rally – the pink helmets go to the craziest drivers of the day!

Microfinance people are never brash and never in your face with wealth. We exist as not purely for profit: what we do make goes back into the organisation. This is a whole new way of thinking in the banking sector, and not everyone is for it. There are always cries for microfinance be forced under the wing of big banking: no thanks! If you support our microfinance ambitions and want us to stay free and not for profit, donate $5 via SMS by texting RACE to 50555 (US only). Or visit the Race4Change Donate page and send us more!


About John Glynn

John Glynn is the owner of Ferdinand Porsche Magazine and resident Race4Change media expert & blogger. John owns five classic Porsche cars and knows the Porsche scene inside out. Check out his articles on the Ferdinand Porsche Blog at www.ferdinandmagazine.com.
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