Social Entrepreneurs in Utah

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 17 2012 2:32 p.m. MST

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Co-founded by BYU professor Warner Woodworth in 1990, Mentors International as of June 2011 has lifted over 2.4 million individuals in developing countries like the Philippines, Peru and Guatemala from the cycle of poverty. Donations fund small loans, which the recipient receives, along with training. The loan is then repaid, and that money provides loans for others. A total of $42,129,787 has been loaned out with a 97% repayment rate.
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Microfinance is nothing to be proud of. It's still debt. The last thing a person in an impoverished country needs is more debt. India is a good case in point, where microfinance turned greedy & the government had to step in. It's not the answer & a worn, tired solution to the problem of extreme poverty in developing nations. Greed & those offering debt are always parnters & to paint it as altruistic is absurd.

Salt Lake City, UT

@ jrgl

For every negative example their are a thousand powerful examples of the successes due to microfinance. Microfinance isn't people over borrowing on the inflated equity of their home, it is loans as small as $100 that have helped people start sustainable businesses. Those borrowers repay the debt with minimal interest, with much lower default rates than U.S. banks experience, and the funded businesses employ the borrower and in many, many cases other people as well. Even businesses employing hundreds have started with microfinance loans.

Access to investment capital is one of the great advantages of the U.S. (the stock exchange, bond markets and banks), and a great disadvantage in developing countries. Microfinance begins to bridge that gap. In fact, the low-rate loans microfinance organizations have provided have in most cases replaced the loan-shark tactics that have indeed enslaved people for generations.

Has it been abused at times? As long as humans exist that will happen, but microfinance is one of the great success stories of the last 25 years.


@ Civil
Debt is still debt. "As small as $100" loans sound low, but there are numerous examples that microfinance is loan sharking! As I say again, debt is still debt.

provo, UT

We salute all these wonderful 501c3 organizations that are helping throughout the world. Utah is a great leader in social entrepreneurship. Good job to all the founders and staff of these and many more organizations.

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