Sunday, 2 October 2011

Small Fortunes - Microcredit and the Future of Poverty

Microfinance is essentially taking the common practices of banking and finance that form an integral part of the economy, and scaling them down to apply to helping entrepreneurs lift themselves out of poverty. This documentary looks at the impact and development of microfinance, including Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank. Microfinance or microcredit shows the good side of financial innovation, where financial and banking practices adapt to another way of doing things with positive effects. Of course, as with modern and sophisticated financial innovation, care has to be taken in its use to gain the optimal effect.

Millions of the world’s poorest—mostly women—who are unable to provide the necessary collateral to secure a traditional loan are turning to microcredit institutions for help. These institutions give “micro” loans, often for less than $100, to those for whom the entrepreneurial spirit is still in its purest, most basic form. Whether it’s through milking a buffalo, selling tortillas, or weaving cloth, most borrowers are able to pay back their loans—and have enough profits to reinvest in their businesses, their homes, and their children.
Produced by award-winning filmmakers Sterling Van Wagenen and Matt Whitaker, Small Fortunes explores the issues of poverty and microcredit as it features interviews with numerous recipients of small loans in locales ranging from India to the Philippines to New York City. The documentary tells the stories of how short-term loans of even a few dollars have resulted in dramatic changes in lifestyles for families who otherwise would have no means of lifting themselves out of their poverty.
This BYU Broadcasting production was made possible by generous contributions from Angel Partners and the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance.

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