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

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  116 ratings  ·  20 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
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 4 of 5 stars
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
John G
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 derivative of this model.
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
Adam Sparkman
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.
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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 4 of 5 stars
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.
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.
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.
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
Well written and a great intro to the powerful tool of microcredit in developing nations. I'm a definite believer.
Mary-Michelle Moore
I'm not sure how much business sense I want to give to my charitable giving but the authors made some good points.
Sep 16, 2008 Maija-Liisa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Maija-Liisa by: Soren Farmer
Shelves: non-fiction
An incredible book which unfolds an actual solution to eradicating poverty. A must read for all.
to make sure that our investments are not a black hole, but are effective.
Lauren Hammack
This is a book about missions through microfinance. Still reading it...
Jon Anderson
Good book on how to invest as a means of countering poverty.
Erica Guess
Aug 08, 2007 Erica Guess marked it as to-read
recommended by a family member
Minutely interesting
Dec 10, 2007 Ram rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
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