Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mysterious microfinance firm re-emerges

microfinance.jpg
Associated Press
Indian woman Jahan Bano, right, a microfinance beneficiary makes lime stone along with her daughter at her factory in Mumbai, India, March 2011. Long heralded as a way to lift the downtrodden out of poverty, microfinance has come under a cloud.

A year ago the Seattle microfinance firm Unitus closed its doors, laid off most of its staff and didn’t really tell anybody (including some major donors) why it did so.

Unitus, which had claimed its primary mission was to help poor people, also happened to have made a lot of money — having invested in an Indian company, SKS Microfinance, which had pursued this anti-poverty financing scheme as a for-profit venture.

Now, Unitus has been resurrected as Unitus Labs.

Read more.

The host of the Humanosphere community is Tom Paulson, who spent 22 years reporting on science and medicine at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Tom was one of the first daily news reporters to cover the topic of “global health” (a much-debated label which he discusses the merits of on the Humanosphere website).