Three recent microfinance commitments from financial institutions

In the midst of the ongoing turmoil in US and international capital markets, three recent announcements by financial institutions deserve notice. While totalling less than $700 billion , these are significant moves by several ongoing players in global microfinance: 1.  Merrill Lynch Community Development Company (MLCDC) announced that it has invested $10 million in Calvert Foundation’s Community … [Read more…]

Microfinance Roundup 9/24

A couple of exciting initiatives were announced today, both made possible through grants from Seattle’s very own philanthropy hegemon. CGAP, as a part of their mission to “advance financial access for the world’s poor”, has announced new benchmarks for making mobile banking available to the poor. As CGAP CEO Elizabeth Littlefield describes, “The brick and … [Read more…]

Microfinance and Microbrews: October 22nd featuring Washington Cash

Please note that the location for this event has changed to Pyramid Alehouse, 1201 First Avenue South. SeaMo is pleased to announce our next Microfinance and Microbrews at Pyramid Alehouse on October 22nd beginning at 5:30pm. This month we are featuring Cheryl Sesnon, the Executive Director of Washington Community Alliance for Self Help (CASH). Washington … [Read more…]

Microfinance here in Seattle?

Microfinance is best known for lending programs for the poor, but it’s more than that, comprising the provision of a whole spectrum of financial products and services to the poor.  We sometimes forget the importance of the simple things…a safe place to put your money (tho one might wonder about that these days of financial turmoil … [Read more…]

Seattle Microfinance Lending Team on Kiva

After less than a month since we set up the Seattle Lending Team on, we have already loaned out $1,800 as a group. As of today we have 31 members, and we’d love to quicken the pace. There have got to be hundreds, if not thousands, of people in the Puget Sound area lending … [Read more…]

ACCION launches new Center for Financial Inclusion

ACCION International, the well-known microfinance organization recently announced the establishment of a new initiative supported by founding sponsor Credit Suisse.  The Center for Financial Inclusion intends to focus on connecting private sector, non-profit, an academic resources to advance the commercial model of microfinance while upholding the interests and needs of poor clients worldwide. It’s too … [Read more…]

9/11 Roundup

This morning I read a powerful story about how microfinance has provided one victim of the war in Sierra Leone with a hand up. Were it not for a microloan, Yenku is sure that he would still be begging today. (more)

Microfinance Internship with Global Visionaries

Microlending Work Team Leader: The GV Microlending Work Team Leader(s) will lead a team of approximately 15 high school students in learning about microfinance and then teaching what they learn to younger students. The work team will meet with Global Partnerships, a local non-profit micro-finance organization ( to learn about the microlending process as a … [Read more…]

Washington Cash Receives Federal Grant

Washington Cash, the group we will be featuring at October’s Microfinance and Microbrews event, received a grant from the Treasury Department for almost $100,000. The grant comes from the Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund and was announced last week in Port Townsend. Congratulations, Washington Cash!