Tulsan Promotes Book, Solutions for Ending Poverty

We hear former Tulsa oilman Phil Smith has co-authored a book calling for entrepreneurs and business people to take the next step up in solving the global poverty crisis through what they call “microcredit.”
“A Billion Bootstraps: Microcredit, Barefoot Banking, and the Business Solution for Ending Poverty,” (McGraw-Hill, 224 pages), claims that entrepreneurs, many of whom have been “bootstrapped” into their own businesses, understand better than any other single donor group that the key to poverty eradication is capital, and the capitalization of new businesses, even very small ones.
The non-technical book was written by Smith and Eric Thurman and explains how tiny small business loans for poor working people — works, why it changes poverty permanently and how entrepreneurs and business people of all types can accelerate this revolution by investing their charitable dollars in donor programs that produce astonishing returns by changing lives permanently for the better.
Smith is the former CEO of Tulsa-based Tide West Oil Co. and Prize Energy Corp. of Dallas. He’s in the process of personally “bootstrapping” 1 million families into their own small businesses via microcredit, and has donated millions to proven microcredit projects in the developing world.
“After leaving the oil and gas business, I wanted to find the very best way to help people,” Smith said. “The more I learned about microcredit, the more I believed it was the answer I had been seeking.”
Unfortunately, at that point, it was difficult to learn about microcredit except from people raising money for nonprofits, he said.
“I was inspired to write the book to share the concepts of microcredit with anyone willing to read for a couple of hours,” he said. “Eric and I have been gratified to find that virtually everyone who reads the book grasps the important concepts easily. Since our only agenda is to spread what we have learned, people willingly listen to what we have to say.”
While the loans may be “tiny,” they translate into huge life change – empowerment and self-sufficiency for hard-working people, their families and communities. The authors assert that microcredit is blazing a trail as the world’s most powerful poverty-fighting movement and is the most effective, proven instrument for donors’ charitable dollars.
“The successes I see in microcredit happen at the level of individual families,” Smith said. “Incomes increase significantly, health problems decrease, children go to school, and family members have enough food to eat. Since we do not have these problems in America, it is hard for us to see that these are life-changing improvements for millions of people.”
The book includes an endorsement and forward by Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Prizewinner.
Smith writes and speaks under the banner Practicing Significance and is also near completion of a new Web site called The Microcredit Clearinghouse, which will recommend the best microcredit projects and charities for donors able to contribute $100,000 or more.



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