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Posted in: Learner Stories

Tuigeugarao City | Philippines | 44

I live in the Philippines and I am currently working on earning my Masters in Structural Engineering. I grew up in poverty, and wanted to understand more about why people get trapped in it. I heard about the edX course, The Challenges of Global Poverty from a friend and signed up.

The course taught me how microfinance institutions work, and why it is so hard for the poor to borrow money. As the owner of a small business (a retail store that supplies construction and finishing materials that I started with my wife), at first it was hard to gain the trust of lending institutions and Banks without tangible assets and collaterals. We had to pay high interest rates. Now I understand why the poor can’t borrow money from banks and why the banks tend to only lend to the rich. Now I know why the poor pay high interest rates while the rich pay lower. And now I know why microfinance is flourishing today and the individual lender are taking steps to penetrate the poor even in remote places.

My business is doing well today. The course has help me understand the business world better. From now on, I am not only an engineer, but maybe I would say an entrepreneur and economist. My edX course inspires me to keep on pursuing learning even at my age now.