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Short-listed for the 2010 National Business Book Award Renowned author and journalist Sheila McLeod Arnopoulos uses her talent for investigative reporting to take us deep into the poorest villages in India. Yet, far from being passive victims of their circumstances, the women who live there have joined forces and are making astute use of microcredit to break the cycle of poverty. Microcredit was made famous by Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus and consists of very small loans made primarily to women for the production of essential commodities or to start small businesses. Basing the book on a number of trips to India between 2001 and 2008, Arnopoulos shows her sense of solidarity and desire for authenticity by sharing the daily life of these villagers. The first-person account of her extensive travels focuses primarily on these women's inspiring success stories. After witnessing many such situations first-hand, she believes that these villages have a potential strength equal to that of the modern, high-tech cities in India.
Sheila McLeod Arnopoulos is the author of a novel and two other non-fiction books, has won the Governor General's Literary Award, and has earned several journalism prizes for exposes about marginalized women and minorities. A former journalism professor, she spent a total of twenty-one months in India meeting grassroots women using microcredit to launch businesses and achieve social change. Mary Ellen Iskenderian is President and CEO of Women's World Banking, the global nonprofit devoted to giving more low-income women access to the financial tools and resources they require to achieve security and prosperity.