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If Microfinance Were Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It

SKS finds out lending money to small companies is a hard way to make a living:

“Professor Yunus was right,” Mr. Akula said, referring to Muhammad Yunus, the Grameen Bank founder, economist and a frequent critic of Mr. Akula and others who tried to turn microfinance into a for-profit industry. “Bringing private capital into social enterprise was much harder than I anticipated,” he said.

Mr. Akula also told conference attendees that “he had focused on scaling SKS’s model and had not fully anticipated the potential downside of accessing the public market for social enterprise,” a statement from conference organizers said.

This is true for most entrepreneurs.  It doesn’t make Yunus wrong, or SKS foolish, but it does mean that trendy, cool-sounding ideas for improving the world are subject to the same rules as everyone else.

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