Iritani - From the Los Aageles Times Tiny Loans Seen as Big...

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From the Los Aageles Times Tiny Loans Seen as Big Way to Invest in Developing Nations' Poor Microcredit programs offer borrowers as little as $30 and are credited with improving lives. By Evelyn Iritani Times Staff Writer July 28,2006 It was at the end of a long, dusty road in Guatemala that Mike Galgon, a Seattle tech entrepreneur, became a believer. He met a woman who used a $50 loan to buy a simple metal-bending machine, allowing her to increase her daily production of buckets from two to 10. By selling the extra buckets, she was able to buy medicine for an ailing daughter, send several other children to school and purchase a second machine to expand her business. "At two buckets, you can't save anything," said Galgon, 38, co-founder of AQuantive Inc., one of the nation's largest online marketing firms. "But with 20 buckets' worth of income, for the very first time she could save money. . .. It was a miracle of economics." Microcredit programs that deliver money to poor people have been one of the fastest- growing tools in the anti-poverty arsenal, spurred by a generation of high-tech entrepreneurs attracted to its "hand-up, not a handout" philosophy, said Sam Daley- Harris, head of the Microcredit Summit Campaign. The Washington-based group has set a goal to have loans as small as $30 granted to 175 million of the world's poorest families by 2015. That effort got a boost with the recent news that Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, planned to devote more of their philanthropy to areas such as microlending. At a conference with investor Warren E. Buffett, who is giving the bulk of his wealth
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Iritani - From the Los Aageles Times Tiny Loans Seen as Big...

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