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Unitus Microcredit Loans

Lessons, impressions, and thoughts that I have about the powerful poverty-fighting tool of Microcredit and how Unitus is accelerating the growth of Microfinance around the globe.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Warner Woodworth - Unitus Board Member


How does one try to capture who Warner is and what impact on the world he has had with his life?

For example, check out the awards he has accumulated from his service.

Or look at the media interviews and coverage he has been involved with.

Do you want to see what type of teacher Warner is? Consider the student comments that have been made about Warner.

Consider the 700+ Conference Presentations he has given.

Or consider the Non Profit organizations he has formed or helped form:

Enterprise Mentors: International Enterprise Development Foundation--Economic development research and consulting on the informal economy of the Third World, starting in the Philippines (1990); raising $400,000 and organizing a board of directors, setting up a staff to do training and technical assistance in Manila. By the mid 1990s expansions include two other centers in the Philippines, plus start ups in Brazil and Mexico which have led to skill building for the poor, vocational training and mentoring, culminating in the creation of credit unions, worker cooperatives, and hundreds of families enjoying new jobs and a higher living standard. There are five offices in the Philippines, two in Guatemala, three in Mexico, and one each in Brazil, El Salvador, and Peru.

Ouelessebougou-Utah Alliance: Launched economic development effort among seventy-two indigenous villages of 35,000 people in southern Mali, West Africa. Working with a U.S. board, Mali field staff, and graduate students from BYU, U. of U., and Harvard, a development program was designed to create rural, worker-owned cooperatives for women. A village banking system was established to provide access to credit for poor, would-be microentrepreneurs. Training programs in basic business, financial skills, and management were prepared, tested, and refined for use in creating hundreds of new jobs, higher incomes, and dozens of rural cooperatives.

Global Job Creation: Collaborated with students in action research teams to design and implement economic development strategies for the poor in Third World areas of Indonesia, Nigeria, Kenya, Jamaica, as well as in Bulgaria, Russia, the United States (Wyoming, Florida, and Utah Valley), the Navajo Nation, and the Goshute Tribe. New NGOs were created including Chasqui Humanitarian Foundation of the Andes (for Peru), Humanitarian Link (for Kenya), the Liahona Foundation (for Nigeria), the Russian Enterprise Development Foundation, Inc, and H.E.L.P. Honduras economic development in Central America. This was expanded to H.E.L.P. International and change agents were sent to not only Honduras, but El Salvador, Peru and Venezuela. More recently H.E.L.P. has expanded to Bolivia, Brazil, and Guatemala as well.

Unitus: In 1999, business colleagues and I formed this new NGO as a microfinance accelerator. I was the first chairman of the board of trustees and so far we've raised and committed $6.4 million to our partners: Pro Mujer in Mexico and SKS India in Andra Pradesh. This innovative strategy for scaling up microcredit to tens of thousands of poor families is building a global reputation.

Developing Western China: A new strategy was designed to respond to requests for technical assistance from various regions in China - Guangxi, Yunnan, and especially Sichuan provinces. A team from the Marriott School has mounted a major participatory action research project to do economic development among poor ethnic communities.

MicroBusiness Mentors: Local nonprofit social enterprise established to fight poverty and build family sustainability among poor Latinos in Provo, Utah. M&Ms provides microbusiness training, loans to start new microenterprises, and pro bono mentoring/consulting.

Global Change Agents, Inc.: President of a nonprofit capacity-building technical assistance firm providing training, assessment and consulting to NGOs around the world.

Center for Economic Self-Reliance
: Culminating 15 years of work to put BYU on the global map, CESR was officially established in late 2002 with $3 million in outside funding. Research, conferences, a journal, and numerous student internships will help build family self-reliance around the world.

I guess the biggest impact that Warner has had is upon the hearts of those who have heard him, been stirred into action from reading his writings, have been inspired by observing his tireless commitment to the poor, and have worked along side him. Time and time again, I meet someone whose life has changed direction as a result of some encounter with Warner.

I had the opportunity to have Warner as my Thesis Chair, when I got my Master's Degree in International Studies about Third World Development. But I had already drunken the kool-aid even before that. Warner has been a mentor and a hero to me for over a decade now. My life is better because of the influence of Warner in my life.

Unitus is fortunate to have your influence, experience, and leadership.

Thanks, Warner.


At 2:35 PM, Blogger Matthew Sederberg said...

Hi Tim,
You might be interested to know that I found your blog using Google's new blogsearch, searching "Utah Valley" business.

I found your blog very interesting. I took a class from Warner and definitely look to getting into development at some point of my career.

Right now I am in an internet marketing class taught by Paul Allen at BYU. He's asked us all to start blogs. If you would like a glimpse of what pulse of young internet entrepreneurs at BYU, you can check out our listings at http://www.strategytree.com/wiki/Blogs.

Best of luck, and i look forward to checking your blog regularly.

At 3:02 PM, Blogger Tim Stay said...

Hi Matthew,

Thanks for the comment. Say hi to Paul. Figures he would be right there on the front lines of internet technology. You are fortunate to have him as a teacher!

Look forward to watching your postings.



At 3:53 PM, Blogger Qwarto said...

I found this web by looking for more information about microcredit and prominent people involved in the issue, such as Mr. Woodworth.

Nice blog


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