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“Small Treasures: Microcredit and the Future of Poverty” to air Aug. 16 on KBYU-TV

A KBYU Television production, “Small Treasures: Microcredit and the Future of Poverty,” tells the stories of women across the world who have bettered their lives with the help of loans as small as $10, and features interviews with international experts who have established microcredit programs in the United States and abroad.

The program will air Tuesday, Aug. 16, at 9 p.m. on KBYU-TV (Channel 11). It will also air nationally on PBS on Oct. 27 at 10 p.m. ET.

Millions of the world’s poorest—mostly women—who are unable to provide the necessary collateral to secure a traditional loan are turning to micro-credit institutions for help. These institutions give “micro” loans, often for less than $100, to those for whom the entrepreneurial spirit is still in its purest, most basic form.

Whether it’s through milking a buffalo, selling tortillas or weaving cloth, most borrowers are able to pay back their loans and have enough profits to reinvest in their businesses, their homes and their children.

Produced by award-winning filmmakers Sterling Van Wagenen and Matt Whitaker in conjunction with the BYU Marriott School of Management’s Center for Economic Self-Reliance, “Small Treasures” explores the issues of poverty and microcredit as it features interviews with recipients of small loans in locales ranging from India to the Philippines to New York City.

The film also interviews bankers, economists, scholars from Brigham Young University and elsewhere and other experts on past, present and potential successes of microcredit programs.

Throughout 2005, the United Nations is promoting the International Year of Microcredit. In addressing the topic of microcredit, Kofi Annan, U.N. Secretary General, stated, "The great challenge before us is to address the constraints that exclude people from full participation in the financial sector. The International Year of Microcredit offers a pivotal opportunity for the international community to engage in a shared commitment to meet this challenge.”

Said actress Natalie Portman, who is a spokesperson for the yearlong UN initiative, "Microcredit is about giving hope. When you're talking about making loans to women whose income is less than $1 a day, you can easily make the leap to see what a microloan can make possible.”

“Small Treasures: Microcredit and the Future of Poverty” was made possible by grants from Angel Partners and the Robert and Lynette Gay Family. For additional information, please visit www.kbyutv.org.

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