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jerryking : microlending   4

Why some see big potential in tiny farms - The Globe and Mail
Doug Saunders

Oxford, England — The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Apr. 12 2014,

TechnoServe, a long-established Washington-based non-profit whose 1,400 employees provide technical assistance to small developing-world farmers....Those small farmers don’t produce much food in part because they can’t afford to buy decent seeds and fertilizer. They can’t afford seeds or fertilizer because they can’t borrow money based on their future crop sales. And, Mr. Masha notes, that’s because lending them money can be so expensive: Interest rates on tiny loans are already, by definition, very high; add to that the cost of servicing loans across regions, and the considerable cost of hedging those loans against volatile developing-world currencies, and, he says, “you’ve priced them right out of the credit market.”

Banks and micro-credit agencies are also reluctant to lend because small farmers often have no collateral: Property ownership is ambiguous and few countries have small-claims courts to deal with defaults. (Brazil, an exception, owes a lot of its development success to the creation of such institutions.)

While the potential in these farms is huge, few want to take the risk of building agricultural supply and value chains in the developing world. Such investments take many years to generate returns, which tend to be very modest – rendering them uninteresting to corporations and venture capitalists, but increasingly appealing to Chinese state enterprises and a few people with local knowledge.
smallholders  farming  agriculture  size  scaling  Doug_Saunders  TechnoServe  poverty  tacit_data  supply_chains  value_chains  fertilizers  seeds  SOEs  China  interest_rates  microfinance  microlending  property_ownership  developing_countries  institutions 
april 2014 by jerryking
Encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit - The Globe and Mail
Feb. 20, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY AND
TAVIA GRANT. Community initiative by the Black Creek Microcredit
Program to help transform Toronto's Jane-Finch neighbourhood. In Black
Creek's case, Access Community Capital is the guarantor on loans from
Alterna Savings Union.

It's both an audacious idea and a disarmingly simple one: To turn a
notoriously marginalized community into an incubator for local
entrepreneurship by making seed money available to people who can't get
their hands on the cash they need to start a business.
entrepreneurship  microlending  microfinance  Tavia_Grant  Toronto  audacity  marginalization  neighbourhoods 
february 2010 by jerryking
Indian Firms Shift Focus to the Poor
Oct 20, 2009 | Wall Street Journal pg. A.1 | by Eric Bellman.
With the developed world mired in a slump and the developing world
still growing quickly, companies are focusing on how to innovate, and
profit, by going straight to the bottom rung of the economic ladder.
They are taking advantage of cheap research and development and low-cost
manufacturing to innovate for a market that's grown large enough and
sophisticated enough to make it worthwhile. Instead of using
traditional supply chains, many companies are distributing through rural
self-help groups and micro-lenders that are already plugged into
villages. And while profit margins are slim, companies are counting on
volume to compensate. Many hope to sell to other poor and underserved
markets in Asia and Africa eventually. Trickle-up innovation.
trickle-up  underserved  reverse_innovation  emerging_markets  socioeconomic  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  jugaad  developed_countries  supply_chains  manufacturers  R&D  microlending  microfinance  low-cost  Indians  low-income 
november 2009 by jerryking
Markets for the Poor in Mexico -
JUNE 30, 2008 WSJ article by MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY on the travails of Mexican microfinancier, Compartamos Banco.
P2P  peer-to-peer  microlending  microfinance  Mexico  Mary_Anastasia_O'Grady 
february 2009 by jerryking

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