By Jaclyn Schiff, special correspondent
When Seattle resident Fortunato Vega walked into Starbucks one Saturday about three years ago, he didn’t expect to leave with anything more than his morning coffee.
Instead he walked out with a free ticket for an event with Muhammad Yunus, the well-known Bangladeshi economist. A friend had an extra spot at the event and called to see if Vega was interested.
The serendipity didn’t end there. Vega hung around after the event and nabbed about a half-hour of face time with Yunus whose ride was running late.
The experience made quite an impression on Vega, a financial advisor to tech entrepreneurs who says he had “no background” in microfinancing.
“It has to do with the type of people who need money to make money,” he says when describing why he’s become a passionate supporter of microcredit. “I’m a big fan of that versus donating to the United Way and leave it at that. I’d rather give money to someone to make sure they have a shot.”
Since meeting Yunus, he’s helped organize several events for the microfinance community in Seattle.