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« Sustainable Cities – the next revolution in microfinance? | Main | Unitus brings unique perspective to China microfinance »

July 28, 2008

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Jake de Grazia

Incredible video. Love the music.

If you want another intense words-based video (albeit one with a voice too), Bill McDonough plays one in the beginning of his TED Talk.

And as for your two min pitch, I think you guys should make sure you explain China well. So many opinions out there. So many misconceptions.

I try to make sure I drop the two Chinas analysis. Two often distant cultures. Half a billion hearts on the other side of that income gap. Welcoming, struggling, smiling people. People that have experienced the painful side of China's growth. People that battle through it. People that ought to get a chance to participate in shaping the future China (the one that really matters). People that can use our help to take baby steps toward globally meaningful change.

But that might be getting a little unnecessarily grandiose.

Hmmm.

Leslie

Thanks Jake for the comments! I agree with you that we should focus on regular people making baby steps towards global change. How about focusing on a green business such as a biomass generator on a pig farm? Courtney suggested this and I really like how it connects individual entrepreneurs to global warming and alternative energy sources... Hmmmm...

Jake de Grazia

I think a pig sty story sounds good. Not just a girl. Even better. A girl and her piglets.

And there's something unquestionably memorable about turning poop into fire.

Jeremy Schlosser

Hi Courtney, this is a great project. I've just read Banker to the Poor, and of course I thought of China throughout, and whether or not Grameen's model is applicable there. I skimmed briefly your friend's post of July 30, and how he discusses the various theories and models floating around these days. Admittedly, I'm only now starting to read up on this, but is there anything preventing something like a Grameen (or Wokai, if you plan on using a Grameen-type model) from springing up in China? I've read Back-Alley Banking as well (by Kellee Tsai) and so understand how hard it is for everyday folks to secure loans. But are there particular regulations prohibiting/constraining 小额信贷?

Thanks~

Jeremy

Jeremy

I believe I've found an answer to my question:
https://jshare.johnshopkins.edu/ktsai1/web/TsaiWorldDev2004.pdf

Not sure if anything's changed since this was published (2004), however.

Erica

Hey ladies,

I think the story you laid out Wokai is simple and appropriate.

It might also be a good idea to somehow highlight how Wokai is different from organizations like Kiva or MicroPlace. Now that the idea of microloans is becoming more widespread, people need a way to distinguish different microfinance orgs from each other. Know what I mean? Something to think about...

Also, I heard of this really cool design firm based in Chicago: www.firebellydesign.com. Their motto is "good design for good reason," and they work with clients who are socially responsible. Might want to reach out to them (or similar firms)for some cool marketing ideas.

M

Courtney,

I think you're just about at your own "girl effect" with what you've said in this blog and elsewhere on this site. First, when you say above that "Rural areas are not experiencing this same development," you're really saying "There's a drastic imbalance among quality of life for folks here." Elsewhere on the website you say "China currently has one of the highest income inequalities of all lower-to-middle-income countries worldwide." So, life is rough for a bunch of people, and China, unfortunately, presents one of the most severe examples of how life can be rough for some while being so sweet for others (in Shanghai, for example). So, try pitching it along the lines of "if a girl in someplace like China - where the income levels are so off-kilter - can make it, girls/people anywhere can make it." That will be the key; tying in China's development to the rest of the world's development, since a) a lot of people aren't sympathetic to China, for various reasons, and b) a lot folks are suspicious of people asking for money right now since the U.S./global economy is SO screwed up right now.

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