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  1. The appalling silence of the investment industry on Rana Plaza

    October 25, 2013 - by Eugene Ellmen - 1 comment

    Six months ago, the eight-story Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. More than 1,100 people were killed and 2,500 were injured in the deadliest garment factory accident in history.

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  2. Microfinance: Ensuring an ethical basis for Canada’s international development agenda

    August 2, 2013 - by Eugene Ellmen - 0 comments

    Fixing bicycles, Afghanistan

    With its focus on small, often tiny enterprises, microfinance operates outside the realm of multinational corporations and globalized markets. So one of the big questions in Ottawa’s recent decision to merge the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade surrounds the future of CIDA’s microfinance programs. Will the mandate of Canadian commercial interests spell the end of Canada’s publicly-funded microfinance initiatives?

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  3. Oikocredit: A Seasoned Veteran of Social Finance

    August 1, 2013 - by Nandy Heule - 0 comments

    Oikocredit - Investing in people

    Although conserving a low-profile, Oikocredit, a social investment fund managed by non-profit financial cooperatives, has been in Canada for 25 years and exemplifies an experienced microfinance model in the social finance landscape. Oikocredit is an international financial cooperative with members across Canada and regional offices in Halifax, Toronto, Calgary, and Victoria.

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  4. Making microfinance work for the client

    August 1, 2013 - by Eugene Ellmen - 0 comments

    One of the lessons that we learned from the global financial crisis is that when you expose vulnerable borrowers to unprincipled lenders, the results can be disastrous. That was true of sub-prime borrowers in the US and Europe, and we are now finding it true of the large numbers of vulnerable microfinance borrowers exposed to unscrupulous lenders in the developing world.

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  5. Les Saveurs du Sud (Flavours of the South)

    July 25, 2013 - by Vu Ndlovu - 0 comments

    Map of Casamance province

    On Tuesday, we drove an hour and a half north west of Ziguinchor to the town of Diouloulou, in northern Casamance. This is mango country, but we didn’t see a single mango.

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