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Week of 9.21.07

Who's Making Money From Microcredit?

Microcredit has been hailed as a breakthrough in combating global poverty by giving small loans to impoverished people in the hopes of transforming their lives. But one very profitable Mexican lending program is now under intense scrutiny. NOW takes a close look at Compartamos bank, which started as a nonprofit organization lending small sums of money to poor indigenous Mexican women to help them start their own businesses. Today, it's a for-profit bank with more than 600,000 Mexican clients, often paying very high interest rates. Interviewing both grateful loan recipients and vocal critics—like Nobel prize-winning microcredit pioneer Muhammad Yunus—NOW investigates if Compartamos is truly serving the poor, or exploiting them.

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Enterprising Ideas: More about Compartamos

Enterprising Ideas: Microcredit Machines

Enterprising Ideas: Extended interview with Muhammad Yunus

NOW: Nobel Cause
A venture capitalist explains how 20 dollars can transform a farmer's life

Compartamos IPO: Microcredit Doing Good, or the Undoing of Microcredit?
Six leaders in the field to share their views on the IPO and its implications for the future of microcredit.

Topic Search: Business/Corporate Ethics, Income & Inequality, Both