Dream Maker - Changemaker
Greg Casagrande has traveled the world, worked in the social sector, and the banking world, when he realized he had the tools to make a difference. Ten years ago he and his wife were travelling through New Zealand and fell in love with the country and decided to set up their family base camp there. Samoa, an impoverished country was next door and the perfect place to launch MicroDreams, a microfinance initiative to empower the poor to lift themselves permanently out of poverty through meaningful economic opportunity.
Greg has not only changed lives in Samoa, MicroDreams has also made it their goal to help other young microenterprise developers (MEDO), follow their success. MicroDreams has delivered $500,000 of financing to young, well managed MEDO’s in Bolivia, Ecuador, Tonga and Uganda.
Women like Tina in Samoa, had the opportunity to start her own company with just a $270 loan from MicroDreams. Now she is able to support her five children. This is just one of the success stories made possible by Greg and his initiative.
Greg may not be a celebrity gracing the covers of magazines, but he is a changemaker… with a passion for others…
So we wanted to get inside his head a little and see what makes him tick …
Where would you like to live?
Tuscany in the summer, New York in the autumn, Telluride in the winter and Singapore in the spring
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
A degree of professional self-respect, great kids, and good times with family and friends
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Being a destitute in Calcutta
Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
The Big Lebowski and the boys at Delta House
Pioneers like Lewis and Clarke
Who are your favorite heroes in real life?
My dad and my daughters
Your favorite virtue?
Your favorite occupation?
Former ski instructor
What is your present state of mind?
How do you define “good”?
Helpful, exceeds expectations
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Other than my kids, the development and growth of my microfinance initiatives (SPBD and MicroDreams).
If you died and came back as a person or thing what do you think it would be?
If as a thing, then I'd want to come back as one of the fjords with gushing waterfalls bordering the Milford Sound in New Zealand.
What is your motto?
work hard, play hard.
Greg Casagrande, a Milkshake Changemaker!