Friday Night: Selling Out or Scaling Up?
NOW's next show in our Enterprising Ideas series takes a hard look at microfinance and the controversy surrounding a successful social entrepreneur in Mexico. Compartamos is a microfinance company that started out lending small sums of money to poor, indigenous Mexican women to start businesses. Today it's a for-profit bank with more than 600,000 clients in Mexico. NOW interviews people who passionately believe their lives have been transformed by the loan they received from Compartamos. Our production team also talks to critics of Compartamos, including Muhammad Yunus, who pioneered the microfinance approach to helping people out of poverty. NOW airs at 8:30 p.m. on Friday nights. UPDATE: Click here to watch NOW's report online.
Among other complaints, the critics charge the bank's interest rates are way too high. This criticism has been leveled against other microfinance operations, as discussed in an earlier blog here. If you miss Friday night's episode, you can watch it later online. Check back here for a link.