HOPE resource library

Industry resources & books

Christian Economic Development industry survey of microfinance institutions and savings groups

The purpose of the Christian Economic Development (CED) Network is to create a community where Christ-centered organizations and individuals can share, learn, encourage, and support each other in pursuit of transformational economic development. In 2017, as the chairing organization of the CED Network, HOPE International piloted a survey of Christian microfinance institutions and savings groups to provide global data on the CED industry. The goal of the survey was to inform strategy and advance dialogue about challenges and opportunities identified among participants.

Download: CED industry survey results summary (2 MB pdf)

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Entrepreneurship for Human Flourishing

HOPE International's vice president of development, Chris Horst, and president and CEO, Peter Greer, make the case for entrepreneurship, which sustains development long after charitable giving dries up. Download a free e-book by following the link!

Link: Download Entrepreneurship for Human Flourishing e-book

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Stop Helping Us!

Highlighting the difference between aid and development, this e-book by Peter Greer discusses the impact of job creation in alleviating poverty. Follow the link to download the free e-book!

Link: Download Stop Helping Us! e-book

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When Helping Hurts

Poverty is more than simply a lack of material resources, and it takes more than donations to solve it. When Helping Hurts, by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett of the Chalmers Center, shares a biblically based approach to poverty alleviation. This book is a great starting point for those interested in serving others through microenterprise development.

Link: When Helping Hurts website

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From Dependence to Dignity

The Chalmers Center wrote this book as a follow-up to When Helping Hurts. The book unpacks the principles of how to design effective microfinance and savings ministries and avoid common pitfalls. HOPE follows many of these principles in our programs. This is a practical resource to move forward in microenterprise development as an organization or church.

Link: From Dependence to Dignity website

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Recommended reading

The following books are great resources to learn more about microenterprise development.

Link: The Poor Will Be Glad – Peter Greer, HOPE's president and CEO, and philanthropist Phil Smith draw on their personal experiences to examine the pitfalls of traditional approaches to reducing poverty and outline a new model of economic development.

Link: Good News to the Poor – At times, social activism and the Gospel can seem at odds. This book shows how both evangelism and activism are integrated in the biblical vision of mission.

Link: Toxic Charity – Modern charity can have shockingly toxic effects upon the very people meant to benefit from it. Robert Lupton provides proven new models for charitable groups who want to help—not unwittingly hurt—those whom they desire to serve.

Link: Charity Detox – This follow-up to Toxic Charity offers proven, results-oriented ideas for transforming our system of giving. Robert Lupton outlines how to structure programs that actually improve the quality of life of those living in poverty.

Link: Portfolios of the Poor – This book tackles the fundamental question of how those living in poverty make ends meet. Over 250 families in Bangladesh, India, and South Africa participated in this study that shows the surprisingly sophisticated saving and borrowing practices of families living in poverty.

Link: The Poor and Their Money – What can we learn from how people with very low incomes manage their money? This second-edition version includes financial diaries and other updates in the microfinance arena, such as India’s self-help group movement, village banks, and microfinance on Wall Street.

Link: The Economics of Microfinance – The microfinance revolution has allowed hundreds of millions of people to receive small loans without collateral, build up assets, and buy insurance. This book offers an engaging analysis of the global expansion of financial markets in low-income communities. It addresses a range of issues, including savings and insurance, the role of women, impact measurement, and management incentives.

Link: Banker to the PoorBanker to the Poor is Muhammad Yunus's memoir of how he changed his life to help those in poverty around the world. In 1983, against the advice of banking and government officials, Muhammad Yunus established Grameen Bank, devoted to providing the least-served Bangladeshis with miniscule loans. Around the world, microfinance programs inspired by Grameen Bank are blossoming.

Link: A Billion BootstrapsA Billion Bootstraps explains why microenterprise development is the world's most powerful poverty-fighting movement and an unbeatable investment for charitable donations. Philanthropist Phil Smith and microfinance expert Eric Thurman provide a riveting narrative that explores how small loans enable families in poverty to start small businesses, support their families, and improve local economies.

Link: Dead Aid – Debunking the current model of international aid, economist Dambisa Moyo offers a bold new road map for financing development of the world's poorest countries.

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Industry resources

The following links lead to organizations and networks with many resources relating to microenterprise development.

Link: The Chalmers Center – The Chalmers Center equips the Church to walk alongside people in poverty, breaking the spiritual, social, and material bonds of poverty. The Chalmers Center offers excellent resources for responding to poverty in the United States and around the world. HOPE International uses the Chalmers Center’s curriculum, Restore: Savings, as the core of our savings program.

Link: Accord Network – Accord is a network for learning, collaborating, and building unity around the shared vision of eliminating poverty. The Accord Network helps Christ-centered organizations, churches, and individuals leverage their combined skills to achieve the highest effectiveness in relief and development.

Link: SEEP Network – The SEEP Network is a global network of international organizations dedicated to combating poverty through promoting inclusive markets and financial systems.

Link: MIX Market – MIX Market provides microfinance data and social performance measurements for microfinance institutions. Search the database by country or region to find microfinance institutions in specific areas!

Link: CGAP – CGAP is an independent policy and research center dedicated to advancing financial access for those living in poverty around the world.

Link: The Smart Campaign – The Smart Campaign is a global effort to unite microfinance leaders around the common goal of keeping clients as the driving force of the industry. The Smart Campaign advocates its Client Protection Principles to help microfinance institutions practice good ethics and smart business.

Link: Microfinance Gateway – Microfinance Gateway is a comprehensive online resource for the international microfinance community. It includes research, feature articles, library documents, announcements, job opportunities, and event listings.

Link: ECFA – ECFA provides resources that help organizations and churches build trust through stewardship in finances, governance, communication, donor care, and other areas. Accreditation and training are available in the Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship.™

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