Last Updated Sep 29, 2008 4:51 PM EDT
Why? Well, the book itself is inspirational. It's based on the real-life story of a Ghanaian boy who grew up to be the biggest chicken farmer in Ghana, in part thanks to a very small loan he got as a boy, which he used to buy a hen. That experience got him a bigger loan after college, so he could start his farm. The story isn't a perfect map with his life -- in the book, his mother does not get remarried to a chicken farmer, as happened in real life. But the story is still remarkable. Milway says she got forwarded an email from microfinance pioneer Muhammad Yunus saying his story was very similar (here is the first part of the Big Think review of Yunus's Creating A World Without Poverty).
The other big reason: "microfinance is one of the few growth markets in finance," Milway told me. Bankers like Morgan Stanley are beginning to securitize micro-credit loans through non-governmental organizations, creating a new kind of bridge financing to help successful micro-businesses get bigger. (She did also get some
microfinance advice from friends at Morgan Stanley when she was writing the book [UPDATE: help from volunteers at Morgan Stanley when she was building her Web site,] which probably helped her get invited to do a reading there).
It's a lot more fun than your typical business book, with none of the pretensions. For those with kids, the Web site has resources to teach them about entrepreneurship as well as games that lead to donations to microfinance organizations.