Tuesday, March 10, 2009

from small acorns grow...

Interesting report in the latest edition of the Chronicle which highlights one university which, rather than investing a donation in the stock market (as in most other endowments) or other similar traditional approaches, used it to  invest in micro-lending.

"When the founder of eBay gave $100 million to Tufts University in 2005, it came with an unusual stipulation: the money was to be invested in the burgeoning field of microfinance and used to provide small-business loans and other financial services to poor people around the world."

Interestingly, the strategy has paid off, not just in terms of providing much-needed credit, but also a return to the university, with $6.6 million being earned last year. Some of this return has also now been used to pay off loans of students who go on to work in public service on graduation.

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