Kiva Communities

We here at SeaMo spend a lot of time thinking about how we can connect the Seattle microfinance community. Fundamentally we believe that hosting an online community and real world events achieves a result greater than the sum of the parts. Which is why I was excited to learn about Kiva’s new initiative to increase … [Read more…]


Many of you are familiar with Sam Daley-Harris for his work organizing the Microcredit Summit Campaign. But did you know about his earlier project, RESULTS? In their own words, RESULTS is “is a nonprofit grassroots advocacy organization committed to creating the political will to end hunger and the worst aspects of poverty.” They take the … [Read more…]

Hope International and Esperanza Host 10th Anniversary Breakfast

Bellevue-based Esperanza USA will be hosting a 10th Anniversary Breakfast for its sister organization, Hope International, on October 7th in Kirkland. For those interested in ensuring that Hope International can continue doing great work over the next decade, please attend. RSVP

8/21 Microfinance Roundup

We’ll start off today with a hat tip to for highlighting a recent World Bank study. The conclusion? The $1 a day International Poverty Line should be bumped up to $1.25. (more) I also want to mention’s “Now Reading…” column. It provides excellent synopses of academic papers on microfinance. Although at times they … [Read more…]

8/19 Roundup

The Roundup is short today, as I want to highlight just one article. Selvan Kumar at posted the best analysis of the Yunus/Compartamos debate that I’ve read. Here’s my soundbite summary: Yunus: Microcredit was created to fight the money lender, not to become the money lender. Compartamos’ rebuttal: Taking high-interest loans may well be … [Read more…]

Microfinance in a cash-less world

Cash is no longer king. Plastic has taken over. I try to keep a little bit of currency in my wallet for tips and for the rare instance when a merchant won’t accept plastic, but I would estimate that 99% of my purchases are on a credit card or through some other electronic means. Undoubtedly, … [Read more…]

Does microfinance promote world peace?

In International Relations, the theory of complex interdependence posits that as interdependence (political, economic, and socio/cultural) increases, likelihood of war decreases. As an example, since the end of World War II, the US and Japan have become increasingly intertwined. Economically, they share one of the largest bilateral trade relationships and invest heavily in each others’ … [Read more…]

8/13 Roundup

In the roundup today I’m passing along another new-to-me organization, thinking about the mechanics of microlending, and encouraging everyone to read the Skoll Foundation’s blog. OptINnow is a slightly different take on the Kiva model (see Monday’s post for another version) offered by Opportunity International, the Christian anti-poverty group. The biggest difference? Instead of a … [Read more…]

Microphilanthropy: how microfinance changed fundraising

I came across an advertisement for last night in one of my goodie-two-shoes magazines and took some time this afternoon to see what it’s all about. Heifer Project has put together a web 2.0 philanthropy vehicle that borrows heavily from the concept. In much the same way that Kiva allows you to make … [Read more…]

Microfinance and the base of the pyramid

On a trip to Nicaragua last fall, one of my fellow travelers introduced me to the concept of the base of the pyramid. It’s a metaphor for the largest segment of the population, those who earn less than $2 a day. And while this segment is roughly half the world’s population, marketers and product developers … [Read more…]