Unitus Opens India Microfinance Center

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Microcredit industry hub will serve 10 million of India's poorest people by 2015.

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Unitus (http://www.unitus.com), an innovative nonprofit organization that helps alleviate poverty by accelerating the growth of microfinance institutions (MFIs) worldwide, today announced the launch of the Unitus India Microfinance Center, in Bangalore. The Center serves as the hub for Unitus's Indian microfinance operations. In addition to supporting Unitus's three existing MFI partners in India: SKS, ASA-GV and BSS, the Center will support future MFI partners and will serve as a resource for broader microfinance industry collaboration. Unitus has set the ambitious goal of bringing microfinance services to more than 10 million of India's working poor by 2015.

“Unitus works worldwide but has a specific focus on India, given the large number of poor people, industry-leading MFIs, and favorable banking and regulatory environments,” said Geoff Davis, Unitus President and CEO. “We foresee at least half of our work occurring in India and expect this Center's team to help catalyze the creation of a large-scale, profitable Indian microfinance industry, leading to massive poverty alleviation throughout the country.”

For more than 30 years, microfinance – including microcredit loans as small as $50 – has empowered millions of poor people worldwide to improve their lives by helping them grow their small businesses and increase their families' financial security. But, despite a long, successful history, microfinance services still only reach an estimated 16 percent of the 500 million people who could use them. The microfinance field's challenge is to scale this high-potential industry to fill the enormous supply shortfall. Unitus was created to help transform this opportunity into reality.

“Poverty in India is so pervasive and opportunities for creating permanent solutions through microfinance are so great, that we believe we have a unique opportunity to work with investors, technical capacity-builders and leading microfinance organizations to reach our goals in India, and even collectively double or triple our 10 million-client goal,” said Sandeep Farias, Unitus India Country Director.

About Unitus

Unitus is a global microfinance accelerator, acting as a social venture capital investor for the microfinance industry. Unitus identifies the highest-potential microfinance institutions (MFIs) in developing countries and then helps accelerate their growth through capital investments and capacity-building consulting, thus empowering them to help exponentially more poor people worldwide. In doing so, Unitus aims to demonstrate that MFIs can be run as profitable, large-scale, poverty-focused businesses with links to local capital markets. Based in Redmond, Washington, USA, Unitus is a nonprofit organization that relies on innovative financial instruments, and the financial resources of like-minded individuals and foundations, to fulfill its mission.

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David Schappell
Unitus
425-881-2793
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