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Documentary filmmakers Anand Chandrasekaran and Michaelene C. Risley discuss not only the inspiration for their film, &lt;i&gt;Tapestries of Hope&lt;/i&gt;, but also some of the logistics of its production. Topics include fundraising strategies and how the film team overcame obstacles along the way.
David Heineimeier Hansson, the creator of Ruby on Rails and partner at 37signals in Chicago, says that planning is guessing, and for a start-up, the focus must be on today and not on tomorrow. He argues that constraints--fiscal, temporal, or otherwise--drive innovation and effective problem-solving. The most important thing, Hansson believes, is to make a dent in the universe with your company.
Muhammad Yunus earned the nickname "banker to the poor" by giving tiny cash loans -- often the equivalent of a few dollars -- to the poorest of the poor in Bangladesh. That simple idea grew into an international movement
so vibrant that Yunus was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize for Peace. Yunus earned a Ph.D. in economics at Vanderbilt University in 1969. He taught at Middle Tennessee State University before returning to Bangladesh in 1972 to teach economics
at Chittagong University. According to a now-famous story, his first loan was given to a group of very poor women from the village of Jobra in 1974; the amount was the equivalent of $27. Two years later, in 1976, Yunus founded the Grameen
Bank to make such loans on a wider scale, mostly to people with no collateral who would not be served by typical banks. The notion became known as microcredit, and as it spread to other countries it gave thousands of people the opportunity
to pull themselves out of abject poverty. Yunus and Grameen were jointly given the Nobel Prize in 2006. By that time the bank had helped more than six million borrowers, the vast majority of them women. In awarding the prize, the Nobel
Committee stated: "Lasting peace can not be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty. Microcredit is one such means."
A native of Karnataka, "Dhatta" became passionate about the Northeast region of India while undertaking a government development project. During this time, Dhatta experienced first hand the difficulties faced by the
local poor in accessing essential financial services to improve their lives. Typically, small and marginal farmers, unable to access financial loans to grow their businesses, have been forced to purchase loans from local agents at
outrageously high interest rates. Though formal lending institutions are available, they are not traditionally geared towards small-scale entrepreneurs. This predicament inspired Dhattateya Hosagrahar to establish the Institute of
Integrated Resource Management (IIRM) in 2000 to provide the hard-to-reach communities of Northeast India with life-changing access to microfinance. His is the current CEO of Institute of Integrated Resources Management
Harsha Moily founded MokshaYug Access in 2005. He holds an MBA in International Business Management from Thunderbird, The Garvin School of International Management (USA), a Bachelors in Business Administration from
Saginaw Valley State University (USA) and Bachelors in Commerce from St. Joseph's College of Commerce, Bangalore University (INDIA). Harsha has four years of work experience in the USA having worked with Agribusiness, Investment Research
and Venture Capital companies in Minneapolis and New York. He has also worked for three years in London, UK for a private equity and project development firm focused on infrastructure sectors such as hydrocarbon, power, healthcare and
telecom. Harsha has three years of work experience in India, having worked for India's largest private sector company where he was part of a core team which laid the blue print and planned the rollout of one of the world's largest telecom
Vincent Perlas is President of the LifeBank Foundation. Trained in agribusiness and public health, Vincent chose to dedicate his time exclusively to microfinance in 2005. After years of working in banking and agriculture
in nonprofit and for-profit capacities, he began to believe in the promise of microfinance as a serious solution to worldwide poverty. Although he admits that poverty is caused by a spectrum of factors, he firmly believes that the lack of
financial services for the working poor, the majority, is one of the core sources of the problem.
C.S. Ghosh is the founder and CEO of Bandhan, a Kolkata-based microfinance institution which provides services in microfinance, micro-entrepreneurship, health, education, and disaster management to India's working poor.
The organization focuses primarily on providing financial services to women, a critical step in breaking the cycle of poverty. Bandan ranked second in the Forbes' list of the world's Top 50 Micro Finance Institutions. The first of its kind, Bandhan ranked #3 for its efficiency and
impact. With Ghosh's leadership and focus on highly standardized systems, the organization has expanded with increasing efficiency.
Equitas is led by P.N. Vasudevan, a visionary and entrepreneurial leader with a background in commercial finance. He has almost 20 years experience in the Indian finance sector, specifically launching businesses lines at
Chola Finance Ltd, one of India's most successful finance companies. Recently, he has successfully helmed the Equitas team.
Urmee Mehta Mankar is the Deputy COO of Swadhaar. She received her Masters Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, with a specialization in International Development Planning and a
Bachelors Degree in Architecture from CEPT, Ahmedabad, India. She has completed several academic research initiatives dealing with the challenges of urban development.
Many entrepreneurs with family-owned or closely held businesses say the most difficult challenges involve deciding who will succeed the current generation.
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