Bootstrap Dreams: U.S. Microenterprise Development in an Era of Welfare Reform
Declines in real wages, increases in the number of poor families, and cutbacks to welfare and other safety-net programs have stimulated the popularity of microenterprise development programs (MDPs). These programs typically offer training and loans to individuals seeking to operate very small businesses. MDPs are often presented as a path to the self-sufficiency that comes with entrepreneurship and as an example of the success of market-based alternatives to government programs. In Bootstrap Dreams, Nancy C. Jurik analyzes the origins and maturation of these programs in the United States. Based on a national sample of fifty programs and an eight-year case study of one in particular, this is a rare book about microenterprise development. Jurik understands the positive social mission of MDPs, but she is not blind to the problems that they encounter. Jurik's clear perception of potential difficulties and her keen ability to place the microenterprise movement in the larger context of welfare reform and globalization make Bootstrap Dreams a valuable book.
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ACCION ACCION International African American agenda argued Aspen Institute Bangladesh board members borrowers business plans business training circle members cohort context costs default described Despite development programs disadvantaged clients economic development employment empowerment entrepreneurs evaluations extra-local FINCA focused funders funding sources goals gram Grameen Bank groups included income increased individual loans Jurik lending programs low-income clients MDP clients MDP practitioners ME's ment Microcredit microenterprise development microenterprise programs microfinance microlending Microloan neoliberal ness nomic nonprofit offered operations organizational organizations orientation participants peer program peer-lending percent percentage place-based program policies poor poverty alleviation poverty-level practice problems reported response sample self-employment served Servon SEWA small businesses social service southern hemisphere Southville staff and board staff member start-up strategies success target technical assistance ten-week tions training and lending U.S. MDPs U.S. microenterprise U.S. programs village bank welfare-to-work women
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