Social Capital Fuels Education Loan Market in Developing World

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Vittana closes $500,000 in Education Opportunity Notes and partners with MicroCredit Enterprises to rapidly expand microloan programs for underserved youth

Cheryl Cainila Tomarong, a nursing student in the Philippines

Employable skills and education will lift up the next generation to a life of greater opportunity and sustainability.

Vittana, the leading non-profit for education microloans in developing countries, and MicroCredit Enterprises (MCE), a non-profit organization that leverages private capital for microloans, announced today a $500,000 partnership to provide greater access to education for youth in the Philippines. Through the partnership, Vittana will issue a $500,000 loan to MCE; MCE, in turn, has selected a Vittana partner, Alalay sa Kaunlaran Inc. (ASKI), to receive MCE’s first debt transaction in the Philippines.

In the Philippines, where 42% of the population lives in poverty, Vittana Loans have enabled over 1,000students to complete post-secondary education. The result is an expected five-fold increase in student income upon graduation, an impact that surpasses the 2.8x income change forecast for the rest of Vittana’s global portfolio. ASKI, a microfinance institution based in the city of Cabanatuan, has supported 500 students in the past 12 months and will use this $500,000 investment to reach more than 1,250 students in the coming year.

“Employable skills and education will lift up the next generation to a life of greater opportunity and sustainability,” said Rolando B. Victoria, ASKI’s Executive Director. “With Vittana Loans, our youth can become valuable, contributing workers such as nurses, doctors and dentists, who can not only raise themselves out of poverty, but also give back needed services to their communities.”

Vittana is a pioneer in the education loan market. Having established education loan programs in 12 developing countries, Vittana has created affordable access to education for more than 4,000 students. “With our students’99.8% repayment record, we have proven that youth in developing nations are investable,” states Kate Cochran, COO at Vittana. “Now our focus is on scaling these programs to reach the estimated 100 million youth who can benefit. To reach our goal, we need to demonstrate this market’s potential to investors worldwide.”

Gary Ford, CEO of MicroCredit Enterprises states, “The cycle of poverty can be broken through education, and Vittana is leading the way toward graduating a generation of young people with the skills and training necessary to create more sustainable futures. This Vittana-MCE Partnership marks a significant shift in capital to support education and we are pleased to be on the forefront of youth empowerment.” He added, “I am hopeful that the burgeoning partnership between Vittana and MCE can serve as a model for the kind of collaboration that is necessary to truly alleviate global poverty.”

About the Education Opportunity Notes
Vittana raised $500,000 from 10 social investors in order to partner with MCE in this effort. Vittana investors were excited to combine tremendous social impact with an investment managed by trusted organizations, Vittana and MCE. Suzanne Skees, Board Chair of the Skees Family Foundation, described her foundation’s thinking this way: “Our board is backing Vittana because we believe in their model, their leadership, and the reliability of MCE’s debt fund. We'll gladly take a bit less in financial return, for the payoff of helping thousands more students achieve their dreams.”

About MCE
Established in 2005, MicroCredit Enterprises is a pioneering private sector, antipoverty program that leverages the private capital of institutions and high-net-worth individuals to provide small business loans to impoverished entrepreneurs in developing countries who live on $1 per day or less. MCE is backed by a growing network of Guarantors with a current total of $70 million in guarantees. To date, MCE has funded over 170,000 micro-entrepreneurs across 20 countries on four continents, improving the living conditions of 850,000 poor people.

About Vittana
Vittana, a leading non-profit social venture, provides access to education for the millions of youth struggling to overcome poverty. A Vittana Loan provides youth with the degree or certificate that leads to a salaried job and sustainable life. Capital to fund Vittana Loans come from our crowdfunded website, investment funds and strategic partnerships. Today more than 4,000 students in 12 countries have received a Vittana Loan and are repaying at a rate of 99.8%. We’re graduating a generation beyond poverty.

Vittana was named Best Non-Profit at the Seattle 2.0 Awards and has been featured in the Economist ("A Hotbed of Innovation"), Fast Company ("5 Social Capitalists Who’ll Change the World”), the Clinton Global Initiative and many other world-stage venues. Vittana aims to reach 1 million young people by 2015.

Vittana is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

Contact: GG Benitez, Benitez PR
Mobile: 619-339-7978
Email: press(at)vittana(dot)org

Kate Cochran, Vittana
Mobile: 425-283-8484
Email: press(at)vittana(dot)org

Paul Marin, Post+Beam
Phone: 646-442-2770
Email: paul(at)postandbeam(dot)is

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