Microfinance · Opinion

Questions about Unitus changes

I wish I had posted this closer to the announcement date, but I still think this will be helpful for people who care deeply about Unitus and microfinance/poverty alleviation… I am a board member of Unitus, a global poverty 501c3 charity which recently announced that it is redirecting its efforts from microfinance to new areas of reducing global… Continue reading Questions about Unitus changes

Microfinance · Poverty Reading List

Portfolios of the Poor book review

Recommended Reading Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day by Collins, Morduch, Rutherford & Ruthven This recently published book has got a lot of buzz amongst the microfinance industry as providing new insights into the actual financial activities of < $2/day (key UN definition of very poor) families.  The… Continue reading Portfolios of the Poor book review


Microcredit helps the entrepreneurial poor

The Economist published an article called, A partial marvel, last month which summarizes the results of various research which evaluates the value of microcredit in helping the poor.  The Net:  Not everything (as expected) is rosy. Here are a few highlights: Funds still subsidized. 53% of the $11.7B committed to microfinance industry came at rates… Continue reading Microcredit helps the entrepreneurial poor


Small, local banks are better

In guest article in The Economist, health Justin Lin, chief economist at the World Bank recommends that developing countries take a different approach to banking than the developed countries. Instead of focusing on building out advanced stockmarkets and encouraging large diversified global banks, developing nations should instead focus on encouraging small, local banks which focus… Continue reading Small, local banks are better


Kiva provides microloans in USA

Kiva, a pioneer in making microlending participation possible for almost anyone in the USA at $25 at a time, has focused to date on lending to microbusinesses in developing/low-resource countries. Many of these loans were a few $100’s with the largest around $1,000 per individual business. Recently has begun facilitating loans to low-income self-employed entrepreneurs… Continue reading Kiva provides microloans in USA


India microfinance and tightening credit markets

I was recently in India and had the chance to meet with a number of microfinance CEOs, bankers and insiders in the microfinance industry including Unitus, Unitus Capital and Unitus Equity Fund staff. One of my key inquiries was how was the global financial crisis affecting MFIs ability to access capital. Accessing capital from 3rd… Continue reading India microfinance and tightening credit markets


Credit Default Swaps vs. Microloans

Alex Raksin posted a good open letter to the World Economic Forum meeting today in Davos called “By the people, for the people” in response to the WEF’s chairman and founder, Klaus Schwab’s opening question, “Where should leaders look to find a new transformative vision for international finance?” Raksin contrasts the efficacy of microfinance with… Continue reading Credit Default Swaps vs. Microloans