Tag Archives: New York

Discussion on “Models of Microfinance”

29 Oct

On Wednesday, October 21, Columbia University’s NetImpact Group hosted a discussion at Lerner Hall on “Models of Microfinance”. Accion was represented by Erica Dorn, Coordinator of their Kiva partnership; Kiva was represented by Sierra Visher who is Kiva’s translation team leader; Grameen was represented by Daniel Brodhead, Communications Director; and I represented United Prosperity. Sara Smolley, NetImpact’s head, opened the event with some remarks about the importance of microfinance, and Nevin Shetty, Co-Coordinator of United Prosperity’s New York Chapter, moderated the panel. There were about 50 to 75 people in attendance, most of whom were students though there were some working folks in the audience, too. 

The panel discussion highlighted some differences between the various organizations: Kiva, Grameen, and Accion were all supporting lending in the United States while United Prosperity’s focus is on those living in absolute poverty in developing countries. In addition, United Prosperity exclusively provides guarantees while the other organizations tend to have a focus on micro-lending. Kiva and United Prosperity tend to rely more on volunteers while Grameen and Accion had larger full-time staffs. The discussion also touched on topics including the rapid growth of the industry, challenges to expanding microfinance, and the potential of cellular technology in expanding opportunities for the poor. 

I’d like to thank the United Prosperity’s New York Chapter and Columbia’s NetImpact group for organizing a terrific discussion!

New York Chapter’s first happy hour!

5 Aug
Hemant Wadhwani and Cindy Yang

Hemant Wadhwani and Cindy Yang

Nevin Shetty and Ashok Parameswaran

Nevin Shetty

Praveen Srikanth and friend
Praveen Srikanth and Siddharth Dandekar
Anthony, Nevin, and friends

Katie Wold, Suzie Sagues, Nevin Shetty, and Anthony Winslow with dollar bills to show how a $10 guarantee turns into a loan of $20 or more!

Rita Bagai, Kanika Marwaha, and friends

Rita Bagai, Diti Sangoi, Kanika Marwaha, and Amar Patel

Kristi Polsdam, Aditi Shah, and a friend making a guarantee!

Kristi Polsdam, Aditi Shah, and Siddharth Dandekar making a guarantee!

Krista Mar, Matt Neimken, and Sara Smolley
Krista Mar, Matt Neimken, and Sara Smolley

I am happy to report that the first happy hour organized by United Prosperity’s (first) New York Chapter was a successs! Despite torrential downpours, over 30 people came out to learn about United Prosperity and spread our message.

Everyone had a terrific time.  Nevin Shetty and I said a few words to the group about why anyone who is passionate about sustainably eradicating absolute poverty should get involved with United Prosperity.

A special thanks to Columbia University’s Microfinance Working Group for co-sponsoring the event, to the Leela Lounge for hosting it, and to Lisa-Marie Gil and the other New York Chapter organizers for their outstanding job in organizing it.

We look forward to organizing many more events. Please join us one facebook as well : http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=100842699351

United Prosperity New York Chapter event

23 Jul

The New York Chapter of United Prosperity is organizing its first event – a happy hour! We’re looking forward to telling people about United Prosperity and how to get involved with the Chapter. Please spread the word to your friends in the NYC area.


Leela Lounge
1 West 3rd Street (between Broadway and Mercer)


Wednesday July 29th, 6-9pm

$5 beer and wine all night
$10 suggested donation
Presented in conjunction with the Microfinance Working Group