Microlending's Might

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Development experts worldwide have always sung the praises of microlending, in which miniloans ranging from $25-$2,000 make the destitute clients -- typically female and minority -- into successful entrepreneurs who can support their families. The premier world microlender is Bangladesh's Grameen Bank, which has made 4 million microloans with a 98+% repayment rate, notes New Internationalist. Microlending's stellar success in the Third World is fueling inspiration stateside, where domestic programs sport similarly impressive repayment rates. Business Ethics credits U.S. microloaning popularity with a growing trend to treat microloans as serious investment vehicles rather than charity ventures.

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