The case for renaming for-profit MFIs

Felix Salmon in Conde-Nast’s provides counterpoints to The Economist’s glowing editorial about the Compartamos IPO, and thereby provides another plank in the platform of those who believe in separating for profit and nonprofit microfinance. I’m not sure how realistic that goal is, but I would propose something that might assuage the fears of the … [Read more…]

Gates Foundation

I live in the Seattle neighborhood where the Gates Foundation is building their new headquarters, and so I experience their philanthropic largesse in a visceral way. The first phase of construction is complete: an architecturally interesting, green-roofed parking garage. And by green, I mean covered in native plant species that absorb rain water, reduce the … [Read more…]

More about MicroFinance Transparency

I tracked down the url for Microfinance Transparency, the new NGO I mentioned in yesterday’s post, and was able to learn quite a bit more about it. If you work for or represent an organization working in microfinance, be sure to sign on to their endorsement to keep the momentum towards openness going. (

Kiva Fellows

I have noticed a strong correlation between overseas travel experience and interest in microfinance. I would even go so far as to say that the relationship is causal: spending time overseas, particularly in developing or underdeveloped countries, engenders an understanding of why microfinance is such an exciting development in poverty eradication. Which is why the … [Read more…]

SeaMo seeking Board Members

SeaMo (Seattle Microfinance Organization) is seeking two individuals to serve on its Board.  SeaMo’s mission is to connect the Seattle microfinance community through events, online services and opportunities for collaboration.  SeaMo’s board currently has five members and intends to induct two more. Board members meet Wednesday evenings for 2 hours; they dedicate 2 to 3 … [Read more…]

7/29 Roundup

Quite a few interesting stories in microfinance today. One little nugget that came out was in a book review of Prosperity Unbound by Elena Panaritis. Her book addresses the need to secure land titles and other property rights for the poor. However, she also mentions the complementary role microfinance can play, for-I suppose-what good are … [Read more…]

Lea Werbel at Microbrews and Microfinance–August 5th

Although we probably all have some canned answer about what motivates us to work in/volunteer for/donate to microfinance, I know that one of the motivations is the incredible people who are involved. On August 5th, at our next microfinance and microbrews events, we get to hear from one of those amazing people. A Program Officer … [Read more…]

7/21 Roundup

At least a couple of bloggers have posted about a potential default by one of Kiva’s larger MFIs (or field partners). The letter sent out to lenders indicates that a shortage of capital has created obstacles. If this is indeed the case, then are we seeing fallout of the global credit crisis start to hit … [Read more…]

Micro Energy Credits Corporation (MECC) Seeks Volunteers

MECC will make a clean energy market for 250 M Households world wide In order for small-scale clean energy to reach 250 Million households world wide, it must be propagated through a system capable of exponential growth. Microfinance is an example of such a system. As the first loans are paid back, this creates greater … [Read more…]

7/18 Roundup

How often have you asked, or been asked by someone, whether microfinance is really making a positive social impact on communities and people? I’ve heard the question a lot, and though I’m predisposed to believe that it does, I want hard evidence to back up that supposition. Paul Gertler, at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business … [Read more…]