Category Archives: US

The Real Impact of Microfinance in the U.S

Microfinance commenced in the United States after the realization that microlending programs were working abroad, and something similar could be implemented in the country by modifying our epistemological perspective on the subject. The U.S is a formal economy that has different issues from less developed countries. The aim is more than subsistence. The aim is to increase the quality of life of the borrower and her/his family to create prosperous … Read More >>

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 >>

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 Boston Microfinance Club is looking for volunteers to assist in planning local events related to microfinance. Here’s a little more about the club: “The Boston Microfinance Club is a new organization that is just starting in Boston. It was founded in early 2011 and our website (and club) is still under construction.  We are in the process of forming a non-profit, programming new events, and formulating our vision.  We … Read More >>

The Student Initiative Seeks New Fellows

My friend Akhila Kolisetty, who writes the excellent blog Justice For All, passed along this opportunity.  She writes: I worked with this organization (The Student Initiative) while studying abroad at LSE (Actually, I co-founded it and now am on the Board of Directors), and was wondering if you could help me pass along a great opportunity to any people, organizations, groups or listservs (particularly university student groups) who you think … Read More >>

I recently saw a post on the Kiva groups pages by a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker who was looking for sellers he could represent, and in return he would donate %5-%10 of his profits to microfinance.  I wasn’t a very big fan of him advertising himself on the forum pages, however, I was a big fan of the concept.  Drew followed up with one of his contacts at … Read More >>

Microfinance in Manhattan

Earlier this month, Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank opened a branch in Manhattan, making it the third branch in the state of NY.  Microfinance has proven itself to work in third world countries, but there has been a lot of opposition to microfinance in the US.  Last year, Kiva opened its doors to lending in the US and was met by a lot of unhappy lenders.  However, over time, … Read More >>

On June 10th Kiva announced that it will open its loans to US based field partners ACCION USA and Opportunity Fund.  The response was pretty overwhelming.  Most people took either one side or the other, both for and against.  Kiva immediatley took action to get more and more feedback from its readers, including: Dissecting emails they received by their customer service team, at Initiated an online poll that asked … Read More >>

Michael Cimarusti, one of the contestants on Top Chef is competeing for the Grameen Foundation. Top Chef has become a very popular show, so I think that this is great press for not only the Grameen Foundation but microfinance in general.  Check out Michael’s video about why he is supporting Grameen: In support of Chef Cimarusti’s effort, the Grameen Foundation is asking its supporters to help raise an additional $10,000 … Read More >>

Kiva Opens Up Lending to the US

Kiva rocked the microfinance world today by announcing on Good Morning America this morning (RyanC, thanks for the heads up on Twitter) that they have now opened up loans to the US as well.  There has been quite the press on this issue this morning already, I’m sure it will get more attention as the day goes on.  There have been positive and negative comments surrounding this announcement.  Some people … Read More >>