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This chapter provides an organizational analysis of Namaste, a foreign NGO founded by a successful businessman from California, Robert Graham, who was an early actor in the microfinance wave in Central America. Through a close analysis of organizational origins and trajectory, the chapter demonstrates how Namaste’s prehistory, rooted in Western business practices and social entrepreneurship, contributed to its model of bootstrap development. This model focuses on resources, individuals, and cultivating beneficiaries’ self-sufficiency through their engagement with the market. This history also informed Namaste’s other organizational characteristics, including its values, bureaucratic structure, and embeddedness in foreign, rather than local, networks. These...

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