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Microfinance has proven to be one of the most cost effective tools in the effort to eradicate global poverty that forces over three billion people to live on less than $2 per day. Microcredit is based on the idea that if you give a poor person a very small loan for use in a self-employment venture, you will get an amazing return on your investment. The borrower will not only work to end her poverty, but will also improve the life of her family and strengthen her community.

English-To-Go supports Microfinance by providing a set of FREE lessons.

The Instant Lessons for teachers and interactive lessons for students on this page are available to everyone for free.
Please invite your friends and colleagues to do these lessons and to support this great cause.


Instant Lesson (Print and Teach. Click on the red and white PDF icon OR the lessons title to get the free lesson.)


Banker To The Poor View PDF
Topic: Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, known as the "banker to the poor" for making small loans in impoverished countries, is now doing business in the center of capitalism -- New York City. In the past year the first U.S. branch of his Grameen Bank has lent $1.5 million, ranging from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, to nearly 600 women with small business plans in the city's borough of Queens.
Skills / Knowledge Areas: Grammar - adjectives and word forms
Level: Advanced

Instant Lesson (Print and Teach. Click on the red and white PDF icon OR the lessons title to get the free lesson.)

Topic: Muhammad Yunus, 63, is the founder of Grameen Bank, which has made more than $4 billion in tiny loans to poor Bangladeshis, providing a lifeline for millions and a banking model that has been copied in more than 100 nations from the United States to Uganda.
Skills / Knowledge Areas: Microfinance, microcredit, Bangladesh, problem solving, reading and predicting, general knowledge, comprehension, multiple choice, jigsaw reading, identifying present and past tenses, pair crossword.
Level: Intermediate


Instant Lesson (Print and Teach. Click on the red and white PDF icon OR the lessons title to get the free lesson.)
Topic: Maqsood is one of more than 1,600 beneficiaries of a micro-credit program launched by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Afghanistan. The program provides interest-free loans to disabled Afghans eager to start their own small-sized businesses. There is also an interview with the founder of SPBD, a microfinance organization in Samoa.
Skills / Knowledge Areas: Microeconomics, microfinance, Afghanistan, jigsaw reading, vocabulary in context, comprehension, past perfect, synonyms, discussion.
Level: Intermediate

Online Interactive Exercises for Students. Click on the title or the picture to go to the free online exercise.

A Model of Self-reliance

Topic: See how disabled people in Bangladesh are being helped through micro-credit loans. Listen to the CEO of a micro finance organization. Is giving financial is the best way to help developing countries?
Skills / Knowledge Areas: Wealth and poverty, business, International aid, listening, writing an essay giving your opinion, completing a cloze, sentence transformations, looking for mistakes in grammar.
Level: Intermediate

Micro Billions

Muhammad Yunus is the founder of Grameen Bank, which has made billions in tiny loans to the poor worldwide. There are 6 exercises to do.
Skills: Grammar - present perfect continuous, Vocabulary - money words, adjectives and word forms, Reading comprehension.
Level: Upper-Intermediate / Advanced

Loans For Hope

Topic: A microfinance organisation.
Skills: Listening to the CEO of a microfinance company and vocabulary - prefixes.
Level: Intermediate


South Pacific Business Development Foundation (www.spbd.ws)
South Pacific Business Development Foundation (SPBD) is a privately run charitable microfinance organization working with underprivileged families in the remote Pacific Island nation of Samoa. Since it's founding in 2000, SPBD has helped 5,000 needy families in nearly 200 villages build small businesses. SPBD provides a meaningful "hand-up" to these families by providing training, unsecured credit and ongoing guidance and motivation to help them initiate and grow small sustainable businesses (e.g. sewing, agriculture, livestock, fishing, light manufacturing, distribution, food production, tourist services, etc.).

SPBD has already provided over US$2.5 million in financing to its micro-entrepreneurs who have in turn grown their businesses and paid back their loans so that others may be financed. SPBD's members have recorded an impressive repayment rate in excess of 99% indicating that they are generating significant additional income from their ventures.
In addition to helping the poor generate ongoing sustainable income, SPBD also provides financial assistance for basic housing improvements (e.g. access to better sanitation, electricity and running piped water) and childhood education expenses. The program also works to boost the self-esteem of its women members and delivers a positive impact on the broader Samoan economy.

SPBD has many individual and institutional donors and funders. A small business in Samoa can be financed for as little as US$200. A really great aspect of microfinance is that when a loan is paid off, it is recycled back into the portfolio and a new loan is issued to another needy aspiring micro-entrepreneur. Thus a gift to SPBD, of any size, is truly the gift that never stops giving.

You too can support a small business in Samoa via SPBD by making a donation online at: www.spbd.ws/fundingspbd


Selected Microfinance Websites

PlaNet Finance

South Pacific Business Development Foundation

Microcredit Summit



United Nations International Year of Microcredit � 2005