Some of my favorite quotes

“If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in character. If there be beauty in character, there will be harmony in the home. If there be harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. If there be order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.” - Confucius

“Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.” - Helen Keller (1880-1968) American Writer

“Democracy, like liberty, justice and other social and political rights are not given. They are earned through courage, resolution and sacrifice.” - Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'” – Anonymous

Friday, May 04, 2007

Making a Profit While Helping the Poor

For those of us interested in philanthropy and giving back to society (which should be all of us :), this is a very interesting read... a very good example of how we need to change the way things are done if the existing way of doing things is not getting the job done.

Please share your comments about this article - Do you think it's too idealistic? Can this be implemented in our respective societies? Has this article helped generate other ideas?


Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 12:00 AM

By Kristi HeimSeattle Times business reporter

During a recent visit to the U.S. from India, Vikram Akula walked into a downtown restaurant to talk to a group of well-heeled Seattle philanthropists about how they could help end poverty.
Confident and articulate, he held a microphone and paced in front of the crowd like a talk-show host.

As one of the new mavericks bringing banking to the poor, Akula didn't mention Mother Teresa, the World Bank or the U.N. His guiding lights are Starbucks, Coke and McDonald's.
"My single goal is to eradicate poverty," he said. "The best way to do that is to apply a business model."

SKS Microfinance, which Akula started in 1988, connects opposite ends of the global economy: poor women in India looking for loans to expand their tiny businesses with wealthy investors in the U.S. who are hoping to make a 20 percent profit.

The traditional system of loans to the poor by aid groups, known as "microfinance," relies mostly on charitable donations.

For the whole article, go to

Kristi Heim: 206-464-2718 or

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

1 comment:

lamikayty said...

Not idealistic but workable. I think its a win-win situation and it doesnt seem like exploitation at all.
The poor would without microfinance unable to 'live' and rich corporations are made to 'look' good and socially responsible and make returns on their investments.
In Nigeria there is so much opportunity for such enterprises. Unfortunatly or fortunately Out of the 7 or so microfinance banks that are currently operating, 5 are located in Lagos. Anyways its a good beginning hoping that this will extend to other parts of the country.
I'm reminded of the village where I lived for one year during my Youth service, there is so much poverty, its unbelievable. It would amaze you to note what even 500naira would do in such a place!