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A history of microfinance and crowdfunding

September 27, 2011

"The History & Evolution of Crowdfunding" (@mashable) caught my eye recently because it delves into some of the recurring themes of microfinance and crowdfunding that I’ve written about in preceding months.

The article starts off by defining microfinance as "lending money to low-income individuals" and then lays out what it will cover:

While modern microfinance has gained traction thanks to the web, the practice has actually been viable for some time. Here’s a look at how it evolved and how the Internet is bringing it to more and more people.

Subsequent sections discuss Dr. Mohammad Yunus' Nobel Peach Prize-winning work pioneering modern microlending.  It then shifts from Yunus' work and the Grameen Bank that grew from it into a discussion of Kiva.org and microlending online.  It ultimately moves into the emergence of crowdfunding for creative projects (Kickstarter, @kickstarter) and equity investments (the author's own business).

I would recommend giving the entire article a quick read to fill in any gaps you might have in your microfinance knowledge base.  Be sure and click through to some of the mentioned services for more information on how they implement the various aspects of microlending and crowdfunding.  You might want to get involved with one or more of them, depending on your own personal situation and charitable endeavors.

For additional perspective and depth, you might also want to (re-)read some of our previous coverage of microfinance and crowdfunding.  Be sure and pay particular attention to my article "Ending Poverty One Small Loan at a Time: Adam Feuer on the Mifos Initiative" and Travis Robertson's piece on funding projects via Kickstarter.

If you have any recommendations for other microfinance services, please let me know by leaving a comment on the X.com post.

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One Comment
  1. Kyle P. permalink

    Very smart piece. Thank you.

    I love hove some of the newer platforms such as RocketHub.com are adding value on top of crowdfunding – i.e. offering more of an incubator model. Powerful stuff.

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