Why Vittana works best overseas

At its core Vittana’s model is a simple one: many students can’t continue towards higher education due to financial barriers, so by providing loans to students we can offer them a solution, reduce drop-out rates, and foster bright futures. In the States where we are based, student loans are a touchy subject. With tuition costs [...]

5 steps to starting your own microfinance loans

The pros may want you to think that microfinance is only for experts but the truth is with some thoughtful planning, good record keeping, and some elbow grease anyone can start their own microfinance program. 1. Pick your cause. What global issues are you passionate about? Microfinance extends the benefits of financial inclusion to those [...]

Women or Men – Who Deserves It More?

When choosing who should receive a microfinance loan, how influential is the recipient’s gender to you? Recently, an article was posted on Good+You entitled “Men and Microfinance: Why They’re Overlooked, and Why We Should Care.”  Camille Ricketts explained how microfinance is often associated with female empowerment and how a majority of loan/grant programs are implemented [...]

Are Misinformed Ideas About Profit Holding Back Progress?

A few weeks ago Hugh Whalan wrote a post on FastCo.Exist about how misinformed ideas about profit are holding back the world’s poor. Microfinance, as an tool that utilizes finance principles as a strategy to reduce poverty certainly suffers from similar misinformed ideas. Whalan brought up three major questions that reflect these misconceptions. Here I’ve [...]

Microfinance: My Story

In 2007, I took a volunteer trip to Ghana.  Located in West Africa, this country is a colorful host of friendly, determined people.  Ghana is one of the most politically and economically stable countries in Africa, but despite this, 28% of the population lives below the poverty line. My volunteer crew and I worked in [...]

On the Road in Chiapas, Mexico with Te Creemos

“And this is where it jumped onto the road,”  said Don Erasmo, pointing into the darkness. “It was hairy, had a long nose, about the size of a seven-year-old child. It stopped in front of my car for a second, waved its long, pointy fingers at me and then disappeared into the darkness.” It is eight [...]

10 Ways to Get Involved in Microfinance without Leaving your City

Passionate about helping others but tired of simply sending a cheque? You’re not alone! There are lots of ways to get involved in microfinance in interesting and dynamic ways: 1. Volunteer for a microfinance organization like Vittana. Vittana partners with Seattle Works to pair passionate volunteers with projects around the city–including ones in our office. Find volunteer organizations in [...]

In the Philippines difficulty paying tuition leads to suicide

On Friday March 15, 2013, a 16-year old University of Philippines (UP) student committed suicide after being unable to pay her tuition fees. She was missing 10,000 Filipino peso, which is equivalent to $250. The student, Kristel Tejada was a first year student, eldest of five siblings, whose father works as a taxi driver. She [...]

Can Microfinance Truly Reduce Poverty?

Last month Chris Dunford wrote a blog post for CGAP on how evidence is helping shape our perspectives on microfinance. He begins by sharing that of the households that participate in microfinance a minority of their microenterprises grow to substantially increase their household’s profit. In essence, isn’t that exactly what microfinance preaches to do and if not, what is [...]