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Resource Library / State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign Report 2006

Author(s):
Sam Daley-Harris

"Visionaries are possessed creatures, men and women in the thrall of belief
so powerful that they ignore all else—even reason—to ensure that reality
catches up with their dreams…for always behind the action is an idea; a
passionate sense of what is eternal in human nature and also what is
coming, but as yet unseen, over the horizon."
Time Magazine, Person of the Year issue, 1992

Thirty years ago, a group of development revolutionaries created a new strategy for
attacking global poverty by providing small, uncollateralized loans to some of the
poorest people in the world. Families were able to start or expand tiny businesses
and, as a result, many found a dignified route out of poverty. By placing the poor and
their ability to invest and save at the center of a powerful new development strategy,
it forced the entire international development community to reexamine long-held
assumptions and recalibrate expectations and roles. What these visionaries saw that
is “eternal in human nature” was the profound desire to create a life of dignity.

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