I just made an educational microloan!
Outside the U.S., educational loans are not so common. And, education is the way out of poverty.
This weekend, I made my first educational microloan, to Claudia Belén García Royz of Nicaragua, who is studying to be an industrial engineer.
This loan was the result of a conversation I had with Kushal Chakrabarti, the founder of the Vittana Foundation. Multiple people had connected me with Kushal, including my brother Tom, who worked at Amazon with Kushal.
Kushal described Vittana as "Kiva for educational loans." It makes a lot of sense to me. I'm not alone. Every student so far that has posted a loan need has had willing lenders snap up the offering quickly (in under 30 hours over the weekend). Kushal's challenge is actually finding more microcredit institutions in the developing world with qualified students who need loans. This is not a typical product for microcredit groups, but it makes a lot of sense.
Oh, and Vittana needs financial support for its operations as it scales up to viability.
This is what I think about when I dream about Raising the Floor with technology: finding ways to meet society's most pressing problems with the brains and resources of the tech community. Kushal is a great example of that, and I look forward to tracking the success of Vittana!