Author Archives: Katherine Rodota

About Katherine Rodota

Katherine is a recent graduate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she studied International Business and French. She is currently working at a private equity firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. Katherine loves to travel, and recently spent her summer volunteering in Mauritius.

Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank, will receive the US Congressional Gold Medal award today, Wednesday April 17th.  Professor Yunus will become only the seventh person in history to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal.  Congress will present Professor Yunus with the Gold Medal to honor his pioneering microfinance work.  Earlier, the House of Representatives voted unanimously … Read More >>

Islamic Microfinance on the Rise

An estimated 1.28 million clients around the world use Sharia-compliant microfinance services, a four-fold increase since 2006, according to a Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) study released Wednesday April 3rd.  Nearly a third of all institutions reported the launch of their Islamic microfinance operations in the last five years, and the number of providers offering these products has doubled since 2006.  Ninety-two percent of Sharia-compliant loans are concentrated … Read More >>

When we typically think of microfinance, we think of it in the context of alleviating poverty in the developing world.  But microfinance is also hard at work here in the U.S!  Four member organizations of the Accion U.S. Network conducted the U.S. Microfinance: Small Loans, Big Results study in partnership with California microlender Opportunity Fund.  Nearly 500 businesses participated in the study, painting a vivid picture of local microloan outcomes … Read More >>

The Missing Middle

In OECD countries, employment is primarily generated by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).  However, in the least developed countries, the SME sector is practically non-existent.  There are a lot of very small companies and a few very large companies, but nobody in the middle.  The “Missing Middle”, as this phenomenon is named, prevents many developing countries from having a true middle class, which largely drives an economy.  How do … Read More >>

The number of people around the world who have access to microcredit financing has fallen for the first time in 13 years, reflecting turmoil in the sector and fall out from the global financial crisis.  The total number of people with access to microloans and other financial services fell by 10 million in 2011 compared to 2010.  The sector had ballooned since the 1990s, reaching hundreds of millions of people and … Read More >>

Who said you need a financial institution for microfinance? These ladies certainly don’t! About 160 kilometers outside the capital of the African nation Burkina Faso, a group of women have come together to form their own microcredit system.  They raised the capital, and then spread it out to their members like a microfinance institution would do.  The capital comes from and is returned to the actual beneficiaries of microfinance.  The … Read More >>

Upcoming Microfinance Events

Here are some fun upcoming microfinance events to get involved with! Shine 5K Run for Prosperity Where: 500 Amboy Road.  Asheville Road, NC 28806. When: December 20th 4:00-6:00 pm. Come raise seed money to establish scholarship funds in microfinance education and research.  The run is $15 and free for kids! Accounting and Microfinance Conference When: December 21st Where: The Grove Park Inn.  Asheville, North Carolina. The purpose of this event is to … Read More >>

Chooze is a good returns company and invests its profits in anti-poverty programs at the end of each year.  These programs provide training, support, education, and loans to women so they can start their own businesses and lift themselves out of poverty.  The loans are paid back at the end of the year, and the cycle starts again.  They choose to loan money this way because it is more sustainable … Read More >>

Global Islamic Microfinance Forum

Islamic banking, banking in accordance with the religious laws of Islam, has been around for thousands of years and still prevails today in its modernized form. Islamic banking has restrictions that are, at times, very different from Western banking. These include profit-sharing between entrepreneur and investor and the prohibition of charging interest. In Islam, one of the five pillars is zakat: the giving of a portion of one’s income to … Read More >>

Throughout the developing world, it is crucially important to empower women when trying to lift a country out of poverty.  By not allowing women to work, you are eliminating half of the work force for the country.  Evidence has surfaced recently that microfinance in some countries may not be as successful at reaching female clients as previously thought.  When it comes to Pakistan, only fifty-nine percent of microfinance clients are … Read More >>