New Partnership With Indonesian Microfinance Institution MBK Ventura

January 23, 2007 Posted by Press Release

Unitus Partners with MBK Ventura to Expand Access to Microfinance in Indonesia

Partnership to Bring Life-changing Loans to a Quarter Million Microentrepreneurs by 2009

Redmond, WA—January 23, 2007—Unitus, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing global poverty by increasing access to microfinance, today announced its partnership with MBK Ventura (formerly known as Ganesha), a microfinance institution in Indonesia. By providing financial support and expert consulting, Unitus will play a key role in accelerating MBK’s growth. Within two years, MBK Ventura aims to increase its capacity tenfold in order to provide more than 240,000 Indonesian microentrepreneurs and their families with life-changing loans and other important financial services.

Unitus is a leading social enterprise empowering the working poor to improve their own lives through access to financial services such as microcredit loans, insurance and savings products. Unitus provides technical assistance and financial support; including loans, grants and guarantees, to help microfinance institutions increase their capacity and enhance their ability to reach even more of the world’s working poor. Through its proven microfinance acceleration model, Unitus’s 13 microfinance partners have been able to grow eight times faster than similar institutions.  As of December 2006, the Unitus portfolio of partners is providing economic and social empowerment to over 1.2 million microentrepreneurs and their families in India, Kenya, Mexico, Argentina, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Currently, more than 21 million Indonesian households subsist on less than 70 cents a day, creating tremendous demand for microloans and other financial services. Founded in 2002, MBK Ventura has a strong track record of delivering financial services to the poor, providing small but critical loans in an effort to help alleviate widespread poverty and support the Indonesian entrepreneurial spirit. With an average loan size of $42, MBK is one of the few lenders in Indonesia providing loans to the very poor.

As part of its partnership with MBK Ventura, Unitus will provide MBK with a $170,000 grant to support capacity-building projects such as helping MBK establish relationships with local and international capital markets, identifying new staff and training resources, and selecting appropriate technology to manage and grow its loan portfolio. Unitus will also take a seat on MBK’s board to help guide its growth.

“Millions of the working poor in Indonesia lack access to the financial services they need in order to help their families and businesses thrive,” said Unitus President and CEO Geoff Davis. “We are thrilled to partner with MBK as we believe they have the vision, commitment and organizational strength necessary to transform thousands of lives.”

“We hope that this partnership will bring positive change to the lives of Indonesia’s poor,” said MBK Ventura chairman and founder Dr. Shafiq Dhanani.  “With the support of Unitus, MBK will be able to offer financial services to thousands more people who would otherwise be unbankable.”

About Unitus:
Unitus, Inc. is a nonprofit organization creating innovative solutions to global poverty using a venture capital model. Based in Redmond, Washington, with an office in Bangalore, India, Unitus dramatically accelerates the growth of its microfinance partners by supplying technical and financial resources that enable them to transform into profitable, large-scale, poverty-focused businesses with links to formal capital markets. Unitus currently has 13 partners in its worldwide portfolio that provide life-changing financial services for more than 1.2 million of the world’s working poor. For more information about Unitus, please visit: www.unitus.com.

About MBK Ventura:
Founded in 2002 as Ganesha, MBK Ventura provides microcredit loans averaging about $42 to more than 26,000 micro-entrepreneurs through 15 branches in Indonesia. MBK focuses on the more than 21 million Indonesian households living on less than 70 cents a day, a segment of the population largely without access to formal capital. For more information about MBK Ventura, please visit: www.mbk-ventura.com.

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