Thursday, Sep. 10, 2009


With idealism and a sociology degree, in 1995 Arbind Singh founded Nidan, a nonprofit in northern India that has organized 60,000 street vendors and other informal workers into 19 cooperatives that pool resources and secure low-interest credit. One for-profit spin-off has turned "waste pickers into waste managers," he says, noting that the working poor have skills but lack strong institutions. "That is the missing link."