World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Evaluating for-profit poverty projects in India

26th March 2013

Fighting poverty and making a profit, Business School to evaluate the results

The University of Sydney Business School is studying the commercial and moral implications of projects in India which aim to turn poverty alleviation for the nation’s poorest people into profit making ventures.

Microfinance projects which charge relatively high interest rates have in recent years targeted thousands of people at the bottom of India’s socioeconomic ladder.

“For a very long time, poverty alleviation through microfinance has been the domain of not-for-profits, governments and huge multilateral organisations like the World Bank,” says Business School Researcher, Dr Ranjit Voola. “Now may be the time for business to also get involved in return for a profit.”

Not-for-profit organisations have traditionally provided credit to people, often women, who are too poor to qualify for traditional bank finance. These small amounts of money are usually invested in small scale by sustainable village level enterprises.

“Unfortunately, these microfinance projects sometimes fail because lending organisations lack the profit incentive to continue with them,” said Dr Voola.

The profit making projects in India to be audited by Dr Voola and his team, have loaned money to about a thousand women wanting to invest in small scale dairying, village level retail businesses, goats, food stalls and range of other ventures.

The goal is to ensure long term income, health and food security for the women and their families.

“While these seem to be an admirable goal, we want to take a step back and look at whether this is the right criteria for success,” Dr Voola said. “We want to know if the profit motive really does have a role in poverty alleviation or are these very poor people simply being exploited.”

“At the end of the day, we may find that profitability holds the key to the grinding poverty that affects nearly half of the world’s population,” he concluded. “Perhaps it is possible to make a profit and go to heaven.” The notion that businesses are important in combating chronic poverty is recognized by Tim Costello, CEO of World Vision.

“We will not succeed in eradicating chronic poverty unless business joins the fight,” says Mr Costello. It has a critical role to play in lifting 2.6 billion people, or 40 per cent of the world's population, out of poverty.”

Dr. Voola is the Director of The Poverty Alleviation and Profitability Research Group which has been formed within the Business School to manage various research projects aimed at understanding the challenges of profitable and poverty alleviation here in Australia and around the world. The Group includes academics with expertise in marketing, human resources, business information systems, accounting, international business, education and social policy

The Group also includes internationally recognised experts in the field of poverty alleviation and business, Jaideep Prabhu, who is the Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Indian Business & Enterprise at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School and Mushfiq Mobark, Associate Professor of Economics, School of Management, Yale University

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Whaling: Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research In Defiance Of World Court Ruling

The ICR Today Filed Court Briefs Stating They Intend to Return to Antarctica to Hunt Whales in 2015-2016; Will Seek to Enjoin Other Sea Shepherd Entities from Obstructing Their Operations More>>

Ukraine: UN Urges 'Maximum Restraint' Amid Situation In East Ukraine

Deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for maximum restraint and appealed to all sides to work towards calming the situation, which has the 'growing potential' to ... More>>

United Nations: Children Can Now Lodge Complaints With The UN

GENEVA (14 April 2014) – United Nations child rights experts have hailed a new treaty that allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights. More>>

India: Election But A Ritual In Nation Lacking Rule Of Law

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) congratulates the people of India for their participation to elect the 16th Lok Sabha. The process has attracted, as usual, considerable media attention across the world. Media claims the process to be 'the largest democratic ... More>>

Solomon Islands: Thousands Remain Affected After Flash Floods

An estimated 52,000 people remain affected in the worst-hit areas of Honiara and greater Guadalcanal following last week’s devastating floods which killed at least 23 people. More>>

ALSO:

World: Some 437,000 People Murdered Worldwide In 2012 - UN

Almost half a million people across the world lost their lives in 2012 as a result of intentional homicide, with the highest murder rates logged in the Americas and Africa, and the lowest in Europe, Asia and Oceania, the United Nations Office on ... More>>

Central African Republic:: Security Council Establishes UN Peacekeeping Mission

Deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation and ongoing human rights abuses in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Security Council today approved the establishment of a nearly 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation ... More>>

ALSO:

Parliament: NZ Sending Aid Flight To Solomons

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has announced further support for the response to severe flooding in Solomon Islands. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news