Shilmundir is a village in Bangladesh, nearly the poorest and certainly the most densely populated country in the world. The inhabitants of Shimundir live on the edge of poverty, for the big banks in Bangladesh – like so many other banks around the world – don’t lend money to the rural poor. But the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee does. Set up to fight the terrible poverty of the 1970s, it’s now the largest lender of micro-credit loans in the world. Three million village poor a year, virtually all women, take out loans, and there’s a ninety-eight per cent repayment rate.