Author Archives: Ryan Calkins

Please join SeaMo at Town Hall in Seattle as we host Matt Flannery, the CEO and Co-Founder of, at 7pm on March 5th. Matt will discuss microcredit as a means of poverty eradication, how technology helps facilitate development, and Kiva’s plans to continue innovating. Tickets are limited, so purchase now at Brown Paper Tickets.Kiva is an innovative peer-to-peer microcredit site that enables individuals to make small loans to microentrepreneurs around … Read More >>

SeaMo is pleased to announce January’s Microfinance and Microbrews at The Pike Brewery (1415 1st Ave, Seattle) on Thursday, January 15th beginning at 5:30pm. This month we are featuring Casey Wilson, the Co-Founder and CEO of Wokai, a new peer-to-peer microfinance lending platform focused on the Chinese market. Casey will be talking about the nuances of microfinance in China. Microfinance and Microbrews is a once-every-other-month gathering to learn more about … Read More >>

Attention Puget Sound area readers of Please join us this Tuesday for a great event featuring the Financial Services for the Poor office of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Here are the details.

SeaMo ( will be hosting its third “Microfinance and Microbrews” at the Pyramid Ale House in Seattle. Please come and join us to meet others interested in microfinance and to hear from Cheryl Sesnon, the Executive Director of the local microfinance pioneer, Washington CASH, this Wednesday at 5:30pm. More details: Facebook event page:

A couple of days ago I posted about Muhammad Yunus’ optimistic assertions about how well microfinance is weathering the financial crisis. The post prompted a comment from a reader who expressed some concerns about the claim. So, with the Dow touching 7800 today, I wanted to put the question out there for consideration and, hopefully, discussion. Will the global financial crisis hurt microfinance? If you have an opinion, post a … Read More >>

At last week’s Clinton Global Initiative, former president Bill Clinton announced the launch of Leapfrog Investments. Leapfrog will invest in local microinsurers who provide insurance services to BoP clientele. (website)

Muhammad Yunus stated at a recent microfinance event, “Microfinance still works. [it hasn’t been] hit by the meltdown process.” If he’s right, and I have not seen any statistics to back it up, then the safest loans to invest in over the last few years would have been the sub-subprime loans. (full article)

Protecting the Microfinance Client

In the US right now we are having a heated debate over who bears the burden of responsibility for the reckless loans that are now crippling our credit system. Is it the borrowers who should not have taken out loans larger than they could afford to repay? Or, is it the lenders who failed to properly vet borrowers? Concern about overlending and other borrowing pitfalls is obviously on the mind … Read More >>

Did anyone else wake up this morning to find a surprisingly large balance in their Kiva account? One of the critiques of the Kiva P2P lending model was the delay between when a borrower repaid a loan and when the lender had access to the repaid funds for withdrawal, re-lending, or donating to Kiva. Essentially, a lender would not have access to funds until the full amount of the original … Read More >>

In yet another sign of its growing success, politicians are evidently hitching their carriage to microfinance–and the African Union wants none of it. “Political leaders or those who declare their active participation in politics be it in government or opposition, are bad economists,” declared an AU commission formed to support the development of microfinance. (more)