Meet RESULTS, “one of the best-kept secrets in development”

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>>Authored by Sabina Rogers, Communications and Relationships Manager, Microcredit Summit Campaign

In a 2013 article, New York Times opinion writer, David Bornstein, wrote that RESULTS “remains one of the best-kept secrets in development.” RESULTS (and RESULTS Educational Fund, from which the Microcredit Summit came and into which the Microcredit Summit Campaign operations have been merged) is a grassroots advocacy organization founded in 1980. It has international affiliates in the UK, Canada, Australia, France (and Belgium), Japan, Korea, and Mexico; and the RESULTS family coordinates advocacy efforts to remarkable effect.

Never heard of RESULTS? Recall the poverty measurement legislation in the mid 2000s that requires USAID to direct at least 50 percent of their microenterprise funds to those living on less than $1 a day? Legislation that also prompted the creation of USAID’s Poverty Assessment Tool? That was RESULTS and allies.

The U.N. International Year of Microcredit in 2005 and the Nobel Peace Prize for Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank? That was RESULTS volunteers and the Microcredit Summit Campaign lobbying year after year for consideration. (FYI: The Year of Microcredit was established by the UN in 1998, the year after the 1997 Microcredit Summit, through the efforts of the Bangladesh Ambassador to the U.N., in recognition of the Summit’s 2005 deadline.)

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Muhammad Yunus: A new economic theory of selflessness

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Social biz plenary_GWaly, Yunus
Ghada Waly, Egypt’s Minister of Social Solidarity, and Nobel laureate, Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and the “father of microfinance,” got into a heated debate about the whole thesis of economic theory. The two distinguished speakers were on the panel for the “Scaling Business Models for Social Impact” plenary at the 18th Microcredit Summit (March 14-17 in Abu Dhabi).

Businesses have the ability to scale, delivering products and services on a global basis by providing for the needs and desires of their customers. But, the business focus on maximizing profits often lead limited attention to social challenges. Nonprofits have shown the ability to address a large variety of social problems, but the need to raise funds from donors often limits their ability to scale to the level of the problems they seek to address. Social businesses combine these two organizational models, using the power of business to solve some of the world’s most pressing social problems.

Minister Waly argued at the end of the session that businesses contribute to the well-being of society and to ending poverty — whether they do CSR or have a social mission or not — simply by creating jobs, paying taxes, and so on.

“Those companies that do not even do CSR [corporate social responsibility] but provide a service that is needed for society. Be it a pharmaceutical company or garment company, if they employ people, pay them fairly, and create jobs, this is good enough and this is very much needed. So you need everything.”

Prof. Yunus countered that human beings are both selfish and selfless, and the business world and economics can be structured to lift up the selfless side of human nature.

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Mourning the passing of a microfinance pioneer: Dr. Harihar Dev Pant

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HD Pant_karobar Daily
>>Authored by Dr. D.S.K. Rao, Regional Director for Asia-Pacific

We learned recently that a great friend of the Microcredit Summit Campaign died of lung cancer earlier this month. Dr. Harihar Dev Pant, a pioneer of microfinance in Nepal, started his career in microfinance as a deputy director in the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB, the country’s central bank), and went on to found one of the largest microfinance banks in Nepal, Nirdhan Utthan Bank Ltd. He was its chairman and CEO till near the end.

As the deputy governor of the central bank, Dr. Pant laid the foundation for microcredit in Nepal. Dr. Pant was greatly influenced by Prof. Muhammad Yunus (to the right) and was indoctrinated by the Nobel laureate into microfinance.

As the deputy governor he was responsible in creating five rural banks in Nepal specializing in microcredit operations and following the Grameen Bank lending methodology. Dr. Pant was the founder-chairman of the first two Grameen Bikas Banks in Nepal: Purbanchal Grameen Bikas Bank and Sudur Paschimanchal Grameen Bikas Bank. After his retirement from the central bank, he created Nirdhan Utthan Bank, which grew rapidly to become one of the largest MFIs in the country.

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Yunus Centre fulfills Campaign Commitment by cultivating ‘job-givers’

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Partnering to End Extreme Poverty

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“Together we can achieve an important milestone in human history. A world that is free—truly free—from extreme poverty.”
—World Bank President Jim Kim EspañolFrançais Continue reading

Creating Solutions for Social Problems

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“Invest in us and change the world.” That’s what social business is all about. —Muhammad Yunus EspañolFrançais Continue reading

Opening Ceremony Sets the Tone for 2013 Summit

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“Together we can achieve an important milestone in human history. A world that is free—truly free—from extreme poverty.” — World Bank President Jim Yong Kim EspañolFrançais Continue reading

A Declaration in Support of the Independence of Grameen Bank

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More than 800 delegates, representing 145 institutions and 71 countries met this declaration with a standing ovation. Continue reading

Reflections from the 2013 Summit – Last and third day + Closing Ceremony!

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The third and final day of our Summit was just as eventful and exciting as the first two. The day started off with the “Social Business: Creating solutions for social problems” plenary, moderated by Imelda Nicolas, Secretary of the Commission … Continue reading

Larry Reed’s Letter to the Editor: Microcredit in Bangladesh

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Sheikh Hasina would be better served by finding creative ways to partner with Grameen Bank–like other governments have learned how to do. EspañolFrançais Continue reading

The Legacy of Muhammad Yunus: Changing the Way We Think about Business

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Lea en español (traducido por Google) *** Lisez en français (traduit par Google) Jonathan Morduch hits the nail on the head about what is at the core of the social business paradigm:  that we need to change the assumptions about the … Continue reading

Celebrate with Muhammad Yunus: Participate Virtually in Events around the Gold Medal Ceremony

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On April 17, Congress will honor Professor Muhammad Yunus with the Congressional Gold Medal for his lifelong mission of ending poverty and his innovative microfinance work, including the creation of the Grameen Bank. (See the announcement from Speaker Boehner’s office.) … Continue reading

Signez notre pétition de soutien envers Grameen Bank

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Soutenez les femmes de Grameen pour empêcher une violation de leurs droits La Campagne du Sommet du Microcrédit soutient une pétition sur le site Change.org pour avertir la Premier Ministre du Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina que les actions continues de son … Continue reading