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

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McGraw Hill Professional, Feb 23, 2007 - Business & Economics - 224 pages
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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 Prize-is giving hope to billions. Philanthropist and self-made millionaire Phil Smith and microcredit expert and consultant Eric Thurman provide a riveting narrative that explores how these small loans, arranged by “barefoot bankers,” enable impoverished people to start small businesses, support their families, and improve local economies. By paying back their loans instead of simply accepting handouts, men and women around the world are continually giving others the same opportunity to change their futures.

Smith and Thurman also examine why traditional charity programs, while providing short-term relief, often perpetuate the problems they are trying to alleviate, and how applying investment principles to philanthropy is the key to reversing poverty permanently.

A Billion Bootstraps explains how ordinary people can accelerate the microcredit movement by investing charitable donations in specific programs and then leveraging those contributions so the net cost to lift one person out of poverty is remarkably low. You'll discover how to get more for your money by donating with the mind-set of an investor and calculating measurable returns-returns that will change lives and societies forever.


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User Review  - jerrikobly - LibraryThing

Good book on how to invest as a means of countering poverty. Read full review

Selected pages


Chapter 1 The Power of What Works
Chapter 2 Beyond the 900 Billion Black Hole
Chapter 3 Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
Chapter 4 Barefoot Banking
Chapter 5 Moving the World
Chapter 6 Microcredit Plus
Chapter 7 Beyond Good Intentions
Chapter 8 A Thousand Battles A Thousand Victories
Questions and Answers
A Very Brief History of Microcredit
Selected Microcredit Organizations
Microcredit Information Sources
Calculating an End to Poverty

Chapter 9 The Best Due Diligence
Chapter 10 Tough Love Leads to Happy Endings

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Popular passages

Page 110 - If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
Page 11 - And so, too, to get angry is an easy matter, and in any man's power : or to give away money or to spend it : but to decide to whom to give it, and how large a sum, and when, and for what purpose, and how, is neither in every man's power, nor an easy matter. Hence it is that such excellence is rare and praiseworthy and noble.
Page xiii - An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.
Page 61 - Give me a lever long enough, and a place to stand, and I will move the world.
Page 45 - Nothing comes out of nothing," is as true of life as in physics : money is the seed of money, and the first guinea is sometimes more difficult to acquire than the second million.
Page 194 - USAID has been the principal US agency to extend assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms.
Page 109 - ... and wealth accumulation — that they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils....
Page 129 - Then, make a list of all the things you would like to do, if you could.
Page 31 - Searcher admits he doesn't know the answers in advance; he believes that poverty is a complicated tangle of political, social, historical, institutional, and technological factors. A Searcher hopes to find answers to individual problems only by trial and error experimentation. A Planner believes outsiders know enough to impose solutions. A Searcher believes only insiders have enough knowledge to find solutions, and that most solutions must be homegrown.

About the author (2007)

Phil Smith is an active philanthropist who writes and speaks under the banner Practicing Significance. Smith is the former CEO of Prize Energy Corp. and Tide West Oil Company.

Eric Thurman has been a leading expert in international philanthropy for decades. A former CEO of Opportunity International, HOPE International, and Geneva Global Inc., Thurman is now CEO of The Protos Fund. He has been profiled in Forbes magazine, on CNN, and in many other media forums.


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