Alex Counts

Basics
0 Muhammad Yunus, Craig McCaw, mobile phones and poor people

A decade ago, few thought poor people had much use for cell phones and, likewise, few in the cell phone industry had much use for poor people. The folks who launched Seattle’s Grameen Foundation Technology Center, which yesterday celebrated its 10th year anniversary (and new digs in Belltown), disagreed with…

Basics
7 Five reasons why microfinance is in crisis – and why it matters

The popular anti-poverty scheme of providing small loans and other financial services to poor people, generally known as microfinance, is in crisis. “In one sense, you could say it’s a coming of age,” says Alex Counts, CEO at the Grameen Foundation, a leading non-profit microfinance organization with offices in Seattle…

Basics
0 Microfinance flap keeps getting weirder

There is a crisis in the anti-poverty scheme microfinance, centered in India but reverberating globally. I posted on the local implications of this mess in October, before it exploded in India but back when there were signs of trouble. I’ve tried to keep up as it has gotten more intense…

Basics
0 Microfinance, subprime loans and baseball

Is Microfinance the New Subprime? That’s the provocative title of a new article in the Harvard Business Review by financial journalist Barbara Kiviat and New York University economist (and author of Portfolios of the Poor) Jonathan Morduch. The subtext of the question is the implication that, like those sub-prime mortgage…