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Author: ShakespearesFool Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 5550  
Subject: Re: Thinking big: Microcredit and The People's F Date: 11/22/1999 11:40 PM
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Selena,

In the web pages linked through your posting on Grameen Bank and microcredit, there was at least one reference to a book by David Bornstein titled The Price of a Dream. Thank you for directing me to it.

If you have already read it you know how powerful it is. Too many of the stories are almost enough to make me want to cry.
Fortunately there are successes that make me want to stand up and cheer.

One of the things I did not notice or appreciate when reading the web sites was how long it took Muhammad Yunus to learn what he needed to learn to start (let alone make a success of) the Grameen Bank.
It was so much more than a chance encounter with one disaster victim that snowballed into success. It had taken him years of meeting with, learning from, and working with the people like those who would be getting credit from the bank.

David Bornstein's summary of what Muhammad Yunus calls "action research" in Chapter 31 "The Wisdom of Smallness" seems to me to show that they are using market (and management) research at its best. Far better, I suspect, than most high tech entrepreneurs practice.

I was also amazed (although I should not have been amazed) at how long it took him to learn how to run the Bank before he expanded it.
I was more amazed and saddened to learn how long it takes a poor person who borrows from the bank to raise herself (or, rarely, himself) and her family out of poverty.
Sometimes ten to fifteen years before they are regularly eating three meals a day.
It's painful just thinking about it.

So much to learn, so much to do.

John

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