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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.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Mike Murray on Channel 9

I first learned about Robert Scoble, Microsoft's Technical Evangalist, and his legendary blog, the Scobleizer and Channel 9 at the Businessblogging summit in San Fran. I was thrilled when I heard that he might interview Mike Murray, the Chairman of Unitus and ex-Microsoft exec.

Today, Robert Scoble posted his 23 minute clip of his interview with Mike Murray where Mike shares his vision of being able to alleviate poverty worldwide and the role Unitus plays in that vision.

Thanks to Scoble for the attention and kudos to the Unitus team for landing such a "prime-time" online interview!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The "Official" Unitus Blog

Well, to tell the truth, I am glad it is here!

David Schappell, the VP of Marketing at Unitus, and the team have launched the official blog for Unitus at:


David states that they plan to include on the blog:

* links to microfinance-oriented articles that we find interesting (to try to save you, the readers, some time)
* Unitus updates, that may or may not warrant press releases
* Audio or video excerpts related to Unitus staff members (conference presentations, etc)

He also states that he believes to have other employees, board members, and advisors contribute to this blog as well.

Best of luck, David. We welcome Unitus to the pool!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Small Fortunes Schedules

David posted the schedule for the PBS Station in Seattle for Small Fortunes as a comment on my last post.

PBS has a station finder that will take you to the station in your area (by zip code) and then, for most stations, has a link to the station.

Look on the schedule for October 27, 2005 for the evening for the broadcast time so you can mark it on your calender.

Here is the station finder from PBS:


This is one beautiful film that will move you deeply and help you understand to promises of microfinance.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Small Fortunes

In a previous post about the PBS Documentary, Small Fortunes, I mentioned that it would be broadcast at the end of October. We are now seeing some of the major PBS stations listing their schedules and their show times for Small Fortunes.

For example, PBS station powerhouse, WGBH, schedule for Small Fortunes is now published.

Check your local PBS station for listings and make sure you invite your friends and family to watch!


Microfinance can be defined as financial products designed for consumers that live at or below the poverty line.

These products can include:




Savings Programs

Leasing Programs

Seasonal Loans

Equity Programs

I think as we find tools that assist in alleviating poverty, we should see how we can embrace them and utilize them.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Unitus Announces $2.7 Million Grant from Omidyar Network

This is an incredible step forward for Unitus! The grant will enable Unitus to expand operations and hire key staff members in its Redmond, Wash., and Bangalore, India, offices. With the additional support in place, Unitus plans to form partnerships with at least four new microfinance institutions, and to reach an additional 1 million clients by the end of 2006. By 2015, Unitus expects to be helping 10 million clients in India alone work their way out of poverty.

Unitus is so fortunate to have received such a generous grant from Omidyar Network and to have their trust and confidence. Here is some info about who the Omidyar Network from the press release:

Omidyar Network is a mission-based investment group committed to fostering individual self-empowerment on a global scale. Established in June 2004 by Pierre and Pam Omidyar, the Network is founded on the simple core belief that every individual has the power to make a difference. Because we believe issues are best addressed by the people who face them, we focus on the how, not the what. Therefore, we fund citizen-driven models that enable individuals to pursue what matters most to them. The Network seeks out scalable for-profits,nonprofits, and public policy efforts that promote: equal access to information, tools and opportunities; openness and transparency; collaboration around shared interests; and a sense of ownership for participants. To date, we've invested in areas such as microfinance, bottom-up media, open source projects, and transparency in government. Omidyar Network intends for its diverse portfolio to foster individual self-empowerment across the economic, political, and social realms, and to catalyze a new breed of business for which social impact directly drives profitability. We invite you to learn more about us and the organizations we've funded at http://www.omidyar.net