Monday, October 25, 2010

next week's speaker

Next Monday's speaker is Dr. Kendall Mau, CEO of Prisma Microfinance. Here is his blog which looks good! Hopefully he is more interesting and informative than tonights speaker.

mf class- tonight!

A reminder that the Berkeley MF Simulcast starts tonight! We are hosting it in the Science Center, Room AG14, at 7:00pm. The class coordinators sent me the slides and suggest that you read the "Millions for Millions" article from the syllabus. If I didn't send you the syllabus or slides and you want to see them, just send me an email.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

eye on microfinance

The Centre For Microfinance (CMF) has a really interesting newsletter that provides updates on their work and interviews with "sector experts." It can be pretty research oriented/technical but has a lot of good information. I thought this piece by Dean Karlan and Sendhil Mullainathan :"Is Microfinance Too Rigid?" was interesting (from issue #2)!

too many MFIs?

Cristina and I were talking the other day about the possibility of there being too many MFIs in a city/country/region. I found this post on Roodman's blog about this actually happening in El Salvador. Also on this point, here is a paper I have been meaning to read about how rising competition among MFIs affects client behavior. According to the abstract the authors found that competition has a negative effect on repayment rate as borrowers tend to start taking out multiple loans, but contrary to their hypothesis they don't find an increase in the client dropout rate.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"india calls on lenders to cut rates for poor"

here is the link to the financial times article i mentioned a couple of weeks ago. what do you all think?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

campus kiva speaker

CONTACT committee is sponsoring a talk by Morgan Lucas, the founder of Campus Kiva, this Thursday at 7:00pm in Huntley 237!

I think the format is that her talk will be followed by a little panel discussion on microfinance, with Jarrett and Professor Casey. I won't be able to be there but I encourage you all to check it out!

Monday, October 18, 2010

w&l alum

brian castleberry, a w&l alum, is working with hope international to start an MFI in brazzaville. here is his blog!


start thinking about applying for a peace project! i think the due date for the proposal is jan 15th at W&L, but it does take some time to develop. it is an amazing opportunity!


fundraising and grants group - check it out!

Campus MFI (aim for February?)
Jenzabar application, more information here about what Jenzabar does/is.

NPR Podcast

Check this out : "What's Better For Helping the Poor -- Greed or Charity?"

Thanks Chas!


Hope that everyone had a great reading days and is excited about meeting in their small groups this week! I have received some interest in holding a little workshop/introduction to microfinance. I think that Jarrett and I can introduce that as the first big group presentation, next Tuesday. Also, the microfinance webcast should hopefully be a great source of information! (Remember - Monday the 25th 7-9pm Sci Center AG14!)

If you want to do some reading:
An introduction: "The Microfinance Revolution: An Overview"
This is a little more intensive, but here is a blog I like: "David Roodman's Microfinance Open Book." He is in the process of writing a textbook on the history and impact of microfinance, and he makes chapters available through his blog as he finishes them.
Also, if you are an econ major, "The Economics of Microfinance" is an awesome read. I also have "Banker to the Poor" which is by Muhammad Yunus (who developed the concept of microfinance) and is less technical. I believe both books are at the library but let me know if you want to borrow one.

I will get into more specific topics later, but hopefully this material is helpful!