Following the Haitian earthquake in January, 2010, Tom Eggert, with the help of his students at UW Madison, worked to raise money to help individuals in Haiti recover from the devastating impacts of the earthquake. They then formed Wisconsin Microfinance with the aim to improve access to capital through the form of microloans, providing Haitians and Philippine individuals the opportunity to improve the quality of their lives and livelihoods.These small loans (micro-loans) were part of a microfinance program designed using principals developed by Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank.
The Haitian portion of the program was the first to be developed those initial funds raised in 2010 provided the first batch of loans to entrepreneurs seeking to start a small business in Bareau Michel, Haiti. The Haitian program has been immensely successful and Wisconsin Microfinance has seen 100% repayment of loans. When the earthquake hit the Philippines in October 2013, Tom Eggert, along with a new cohort of students began expanding Wisconsin Microfinance beyond Haiti with the creation of the Philippines leg of the program. As of early 2014, the Philippine portion is still under development but progress is moving quickly. Be sure to keep up to date with news on each country and program developments. Check out our website and our blog to learn more!
Paul R. Polak, author, The Business Solution to Poverty: Designing Products and Services for Three Billion New Customers, recently wrote an open letter to Larry Page, Google CEO (published on March 31st). Page had made a declaration that if he
Wisconsin Microfinance is pleased to announce that this April is the month of Microfinance! Shawn Humphrey, an Economics professor from the University of Mary Washington, has started the Student Microfinance Movement and made the designation. Throughout the month, there microfinance
When I first become aware of microfinance as a means to economic development for the poor, it seemed obvious to me that interest rates on these loans should be low. If we’re talking about individuals that would have no access