I’ve never done this before, but today I’m going to plug the Grameen Foundation‘s “$27 on the 27th” campaign. For those of you who don’t know, the Grameen Foundation is a microlending institution that helps poor women in developing countries get loans to fund small businesses. Loans are typically in the range of $20-200. Their founder, Muhammud Yunus, started with the first loan of $27 in 1976. Yunus and the Grameen Bank shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 (no NPP jokes, please). I have been involved with the Grameen Foundation for several years, and seen first-hand how their work is helping people in India. The breadth and depth of poverty there is vast, and top-down development efforts have often failed to help those who need (often while enriching people who don’t). The bottom-up approach is not a silver bullet, but it builds small businesses, helping families and communities along the way.

So I encourage you to think about the next 27 discretionary dollars you plan to spend, and consider spending it on microloans to help people build small businesses. Learn more here.

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