Doing Development in Arkansas: Using Credit to Create Opportunity for Entrepreneurs Outside the Mainstream
This is the story of the Southern Development Bancorporation, an organization established in 1988 with headquarters in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, for the purpose of stimulating economic and community development in South Arkansas. Richard P. Taub chronicles this experiment in development banking, established by Bill Clinton when he was governor. Based somewhat on the model of Shorebank Corporation, a Chicago bank-holding corporation that had achieved national recognition through its development efforts in the South Shore community, Southern was established with the assistance of the state’s leading foundation as a holding company with a set of subsidiaries designed to provide crucial credit opportunities and technical assistance missing from southern Arkansas. Doing Development in Arkansas is a history of that program as its creators tried to find their footing in new terrain, establish trust, work with borrowers despite legal pitfalls in doing so, and attempted to create new loan and technical assistance products. It is the story of the towns themselves in which Southern tried to have a substantial impact, including Arkadelphia, Hope, Malvern, Hot Springs, and Pine Bluff. Southern was an experiment and many of its achievements were the results in some cases of trying new ideas and in others of transporting programs successful in one setting to new locations. The most dramatic example of such a move is the development of the Good Faith Fund in Pine Bluff, based on a model of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. This book has been supported by the Winthrop Rockefeller and Ford Foundations.
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