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A Billion Bootstraps: Microcredit, Barefoot Banking, and the Business Solution for Ending Poverty

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  137 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
A bold manifesto by two business leaders, A Billion Bootstraps shows why microcredit is the world's most powerful poverty-fighting movement-and an unbeatable investment for your charitable donations.

A Billion Bootstraps unearths the roots of the microcredit revolution, revealing how the pioneering work of people such as Dr. Muhammad Yunus-winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Pri
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by McGraw-Hill Companies (first published February 7th 2007)
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Jun 28, 2009 Andrew rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in solving poverty
Trillions of dollars in handout aid in the 20th century to the developing world has failed miserably in the 20th century. One recently popular solution that promises to change this dismal record is microcredit. Many will have heard about microcredit before, Smith and Thurman craft a very straight-forward non-jargon manual on microcredit. They tell many stories of many lives improved by microcredit.

In the appendix section, the authors demonstrate a pretty simple calculation of cost per lives impa
Nov 06, 2007 Andrea rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
The authors present a business person's introduction to microcredit and outline reasons why this form of aid is one of the most successful ways to fight poverty. Although I already understood some basics of microcredit loans, the book gave me more background and history of the microfinance movement. The authors seemed to write for a affluent audience looking for ways to enter into philanthropy, rather than for a broader audience including those with more modest incomes. This surprised me because ...more
John G
Sep 08, 2016 John G rated it it was amazing
Economic uplift without institutions.

This book is not well written but its ideas are why I gave it five stars.

A reasoned argument to encourage support for poor folks through small loans made locally by local organizations. Sort of building infrastructure of a nation from the ground up rather than by World Bank financed mega-projects. For me, it seems an inspirational and pragmatic approach to directly helping others without complications. A lot of current internet funding agencies seem derivati
Adam Sparkman
Jun 08, 2009 Adam Sparkman rated it really liked it
This book is a really good starting place for anyone with a desire to learn more about the increasing popularity of microfinance. Smith stresses the importance of demanding a big return on your charitable donations (he uses the formula "cost-per-life"), as you would on money in your investment portfolio. I like this book much more than Yunus' "Banker to the Poor" as a primer to learning about microfinance.
Though a bit fluffy, the argument put forth by Thurman and Smith that philanthropy should be viewed as a social investment with expected returns just like business investments is a idea worth spreading amongst both individual and corporate donors. Due diligence and not guilt should drive how donors choose whom to support. An easy read written as interwoven personal reflections on microcredit.
Jul 15, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 09, 2008 Jason is currently reading it
wow - very interesting so far. Amazing how microcredit is changing economies. I've seen it in action in Cambodia (even been a part of it by helping to purchase a cow there). Heavy on philanthropy strategy, but I'll let you know how it finishes up.
Oct 06, 2008 Anandh rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who is considering Microcredit as a philanthropical giving
The recent Novel peace price to Grameen Bank has brought the Micro credit to limelight. This book talks about the basics and also gives umpteen note by the authors in their effort towards philanthropy through Microcredit.
Mary-Michelle Moore
Jan 09, 2008 Mary-Michelle Moore rated it liked it
I'm not sure how much business sense I want to give to my charitable giving but the authors made some good points.
Jan 14, 2008 Rachel rated it did not like it
Well it does not come highly recommended. I wanted to know more about microcredit and how it works and why so many people are getting behind it. But this book was simple fluff.
Adam Allen
Feb 14, 2009 Adam Allen rated it really liked it
Well written and a great intro to the powerful tool of microcredit in developing nations. I'm a definite believer.
Apr 10, 2014 Courtney rated it liked it
Microcredit is not the panacea everyone seems to think it is. If you read this book and believe it is a solution read something by Bateman or Hugh Sinclair to get the other side of the picture.
Dec 10, 2007 Ram rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested to understand the social & business aspects of microfinance
A good intro book on microfinance - explains well how microfinance works, why it works and what you can do to be part of it.
Aug 02, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it
A good introduction to the concept of microfinance and the power of business in reducing poverty. But if you are looking for something more in depth and complex I would recommend Yunas.
Nick Short
Nick Short rated it liked it
Jul 20, 2013
Tim Filston
Tim Filston rated it it was ok
Dec 02, 2016
Zeb Goen
Zeb Goen rated it it was amazing
Sep 09, 2016
Leslie marked it as to-read
Oct 06, 2007
Jan 03, 2008 Kim rated it it was amazing
to make sure that our investments are not a black hole, but are effective.
Naomi rated it really liked it
Mar 18, 2009
Andy rated it really liked it
Sep 18, 2009
Don Schlosser
Don Schlosser rated it really liked it
Aug 25, 2014
Zachary rated it liked it
Aug 24, 2007
John rated it really liked it
Oct 26, 2014
Aaron rated it really liked it
May 15, 2014
Heather rated it it was amazing
Jul 04, 2011
Nov 18, 2008 tomlinton rated it really liked it
Minutely interesting
Michelle rated it really liked it
May 19, 2009
Eugene rated it really liked it
Mar 24, 2013
Lauren Hammack
Apr 02, 2008 Lauren Hammack rated it really liked it
This is a book about missions through microfinance. Still reading it...
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