Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 17, 2010.

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Our documentary will span three continents as we follow women using microloans to try to pull themselves and their families out of poverty.

Last September I had an epiphany after reading a Kristof op-ed in The New York Times Magazine.

Here's the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/magazine/23Women-t.html...

It detailed the dire situation for women in many parts of the world, and how microborrowing - receiving a loan as small as $25 - can help to change a woman's life. Using the money to start a profit-generating small business, female microborrowers gain self-esteem and a greater say in their household and community affairs. Because the idea seemed so impactful, I wanted to learn more about it, so I traveled to Paraguay in November to meet some of these businesswomen and hear their stories firsthand. When I got back to Chicago I assembled a wonderful crew willing to donate their time and considerable talents to the making of a feature-length documentary that will span three continents. Our goal is to tell a comprehensive series of stories about women borrowers and their lives.

First, we will head back to the rural countryside of Paraguay to film female borrowers as they take on loans to start small businesses selling produce, handmade clothing, or, as you'll see in the video, hot dog containers. Later in the year, we plan to travel to Africa and Asia to meet more borrowers. This is where we need your help. Through the generosity of friends and family, as well as digging into our own pockets, we are able to finance the first leg of our journey, but we need additional support to make this a truly global project.

In this film we will explore how microlending affects women, how the system as a whole functions, and what improvements can be made to benefit more women around the world.

Please watch our video above and visit us at microlendingfilm.com to learn more about what we're trying to do. Every contribution makes a difference. Just as a few dollars can jumpstart a borrower's business, your small donation will help kickstart our project!

Please help spread the word: any emails, tweets, or Facebook updates linking to our Kickstarter page are appreciated more than you know.

Lastly, please note that the video above was created for the purposes of Kickstarter fundraising, and is not representative of the quality of the film we will ultimately make.

Thanks so much in advance for your support!
Rachel Cook, Lou Karsen, Stefanie Karlin, Steve Hiller, and Dom Mendicino

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  • Pledge $2 or more
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    6 backers

    Three billion people worldwide live on less than $2 a day. Donate at this level and receive our eternal gratitude for helping to make our vision a reality!

  • Pledge $5 or more
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    7 backers

    It takes 5 women to start a 'checks and balance' committee to take out a microloan. Donate at this level and receive a thank you shout-out on our Facebook page, as well as our eternal gratitude!

  • Pledge $13 or more
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    5 backers

    There are over 13 million microcredit borrowers worldwide. Donate at this level and receive a handwritten thank you postcard made from a photograph Rachel took on her first trip to Paraguay, as well as all of the above.

  • Pledge $27 or more
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    28 backers

    Muhammad Yunus’ first microloan in the village of Jobra, Bangladesh was for $27. Donate at this level and receive a DVD of the final film, as well as all of the above.

  • Pledge $45 or more
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    8 backers

    As seen in the video, Constantina was given a loan of $45 to start her hot dog carton business. Donate at this level and receive a decorative and colorful movie poster for your bedroom or boardroom, as well as all of the above.

  • Pledge $76 or more
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    2 backers

    In 1976 Muhammad Yunus began researching a credit system for the rural poor, which later became Grameen Bank. Donate at this level and receive special thanks on screen in the credits of the film, as well as all of the above.

  • Pledge $94 or more
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    8 backers

    94% of borrowers are women. Donate at this level and receive a rad microcredit T-shirt, as well as all of the above.

  • Pledge $235 or more
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    2 backers

    The average loan given by Fundacion Paraguaya is $235. Donate at this level and receive an authentic product from a female microborrower documented in the film, as well as all of the above.

  • Pledge $500 or more
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    2 backers

    Of the 500 million 'microbusiness' owners worldwide, only 2% have access to credit. Donate at this level and receive an invitation to the Chicago premiere of our film, handwritten in English and Guarani (an indigenous language of rural Paraguay), as well as all of the above.

  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    2 backers

    In Bangladesh alone there are more than 1,000 microcredit institutions. Donate at this level and receive an on screen Associate Producer credit, a preview DVD with a reaction card for your input, as well as all of the above.

  • Pledge $2,005 or more
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    0 backers

    The UN designated 2005 the 'International Year of Microcredit'. Donate at this level and become a Corporate Sponsor with your company's logo on screen during the ending credits and printed on DVD case, as well as all of the above.

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    0 backers

    Bill Gates recently pledged $38 million towards microcredit. Become our Bill Gates. Donate at this level and receive an on screen Executive Producer Credit, a private in home screening with a meal prepared by director, as well as all of the above.

Funding period

- (88 days)