Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday Linkblogging: Microenterprise

One blessing of microenterprise is that it gives people a taste for entrepreneurship; many like the life so much, they go on to run a string of small but successful enterprises. Makela began his first elder-care center in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and operated it for five years. Then he and his wife decided business ownership had lost its luster and sold the center. But after only a year or so, they found they missed the flexibility and independence of running their own show and found an existing center they could take over.
"This type of business is certainly not for everyone," says Makela. "We both work almost every day for at least part of the day. But, at the same time, we have a lot more time and money for our hobbies, recreation and our [children] than most people do." Those attractions are what keep microbusiness blooming despite the obstacles.
The non-government organisations that run micro-credit business have failed to help the ultra-poor come out of poverty trap and get self-employed with dignity, resulting in scourge like monga — seasonal joblessness, economists have said.
They also criticised the government’s manpower training bureau and overseas recruiting agencies in the private sector for failing to create job opportunities for the northern poor.
... ‘Yes! Micro-credit can pay dividends to moderate poor and be effective only if the economy grows in a healthy manner.’ Both Muzaffer and Akbar termed the monga ‘nothing but a poverty syndrome’, let alone a seasonal distress, because income opportunities have not been created.
"Monga" means famine, by the way.
No NGOs are allowed to do microfinancing without the licences from MRA under a law that came into effect on 27 August 2006.

“We've no mechanism of our own to detect NGOs engaged in micro-financing without licences,” a top official of the MRA said in the wake of recent scandals.

In the last couple of weeks, some NGOs disappeared with around Tk 500 crore after swindling poor villagers in northern districts.
... According to government statistics, there are some 49,000 NGOs registered under the Social Welfare Department, about 10,0000 under the Cooperative and Joint Stock Companies and another about 2,000 under the NGO Affairs Bureau.
With rapid economic development, for years the banks have easily granted small loans, raking in very high rates of interest. Now many professionals, small businessmen, and farmers are no longer able to pay. Experts: the phenomenon is contained, but there is the risk that it could expand.
... In February, the government said it will cover 15 billion dollars in debts held by farmers.  Many have observed that this will not so much help the rural population - which is in any case strangled by rising costs for fertilisers and petrol, and by the pollution of irrigation water - as it will the credit institutions, which will immediately recover the entire value of loans with difficult prospects of repayment.
  • has fellowships and sends their fellows out to the field ... from whence they blog! It's a pretty extensive blog. Check it out!

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