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Ever since the announcement that Unitus is leaving Microfinance, there has been a lot of speculation about their next step.Â Ryan Calkins and the board at SeaMO have come up with a guide to the recent announcments:
“Itâ€™s been a couple of weeks since Unitus unexpectedly announced its decision to shut down operations, suspend its involvement in microfinance, and eventually reopen with a new approach to poverty alleviation. In the wake of the announcement and because of our close ties to a number of Unitus staff, we have received numerous requests for the story behind the story. Truth be told, we were as surprised as everyone and have been seeking more information about the motivation behind the closure, its timing, and why the board chose to make the announcement as abruptly as it did.
1. Seattle Times article announcing the Unitus closure
2. SiliconIndia.com post about closure and corollary funds
3. Discussion on Ohio State Develpment Finance Listserv
4. Chronicle of Philanthropy, â€œMicrofinance Group Unitus Shuts Down, Eyes â€˜Reinventionâ€™â€
5. MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Unitus to Discontinue Microfinance-Related Activities to Focus on Other Poverty Alleviation Strategies, Will Release 40 Staff Members in India, Kenya, United States
6. Chronicle of Philanthropy, â€œWhen It Comes to Donations, Is It Possible to Have Too Much?â€
7. â€œClosure of Popular Poverty-Fighting Charity Raises Big Questionsâ€
8. â€œMicrofinance mission accomplished? Hardly, expert saysâ€ â€” Seattle Times
9. Discussion of â€œMicrofinance Mission Accomplished? Hardlyâ€ on Microfinance Practice Listserv (login required)
10. Unitus Fund to Cash Out on Indian IPO â€” Puget Sound Business Journal
11. Matt Flanneryâ€™s tweet immediately after the announcement: â€œIs this what happens when your non-profit succeeds?â€œ
Among our board and volunteers, one consensus has emerged: the Unitus closure is consequential for the microfinance industry…”