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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
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.
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.
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."
Many entrepreneurs with family-owned or closely held businesses say the most difficult challenges involve deciding who will succeed the current generation.
As a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Dana Mead supports entrepreneurs and innovators seeking to make major impact through life science technologies and ventures. In this lecture, Mead talks about Venture Capital, offering great insights about Silicon Valley and life as a venture capitalist.
Successful entrepreneurship is, in many respects, a “perfect storm” of strategic planning, market opportunity, hard work, perseverance, the right team and countless other factors – some within your control as an entrepreneur, and some that aren’t. One factor that often plays a large role in...
Amyris Biotechnologies CEO John Melo explains his company's endeavors in the sustainable sciences; working both to fight disease and to create renewable energies. Melo also reflects upon his personal career path, from immigrant, to start-up, to Big Oil - and back to start-up again.
A crack team of professors from Southern University College of Business, Louisiana, United States of America, is in the country conducting leadership and entrepreneur development skills training for 50 university graduates and middle-level young Liberian entrepreneurs. About 65% of the trainees are women and girls.
The training is ongoing at Thinkers Village outside Monrovia where the professors say the young Liberian entrepreneurs are in high gear and are positively responding to lectures and courses they are being taught.
Making a little girl's life better may rival extensive work with his alma mater as Stephen Cooper's most rewarding giving back.
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