What prevents poor people from getting ahead? Banks refuse to give credit without collateral. Where commercial banks see insolvency, Nobel Prize–winning economist Muhammad Yunus sees opportunity. His groundbreaking Grameen Bank was built on the radical notion that if you loan poor women money within the context of peer support, not only will they repay and sustain the bank, but they’ll elevate their communities in the process.
With millions of microloans to rural entrepreneurs in developing countries, Grameen is now audaciously importing its methods to the bastion of first-world capitalism: the U.S.A. First stop: Queens, New York. With an intimate camera capturing both buoyant and despairing moments, To Catch a Dollar chronicles the evolution of the tiny new branch. Will the solidarity principles translate to a diverse group of inner-city women? As the banking industry collapses, will these intrepid social-justice financiers succeed? One thing’s clear: we need new models to ensure prosperity for all.