The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) is hosting Vikram Akula, founder and CEO of microfinance institution SKS Microfinance today as part of their informal brown bag series. RSVP to email@example.com, or call the CGAP offices at 202-473-9594 for more information. The CGAP offices are on the third floor of 900 19th Street NW, Washington DC.
Some background on SKS Microfinance and Vikram Akula follows:
Prior to launching SKS, Vikram Akula was a Fulbright Scholar in India, during which time he coordinated a government-funded (Jawahar Rozgar Yojana) action-research project on providing microfinance for food security. He holds an BA from Tufts, an MA from Yale and a PhD from the University of Chicago, where his dissertation focused on poverty alleviation strategies.
Since its launch in 1998, SKS Microfinance has provided over USD 550 million in loans, with loans of USD 223 million currently outstanding to 1,721,155 women members in poor regions of India. Borrowers take loans for a range of income-generating activities, including livestock, agriculture, trade, production and service businesses. SKS also offers interest-free loans for emergencies and life insurance to its members. Its nonprofit wing, SKS Foundation, runs an Ultra Poor Program. SKS currently has 700 microfinance branches in 15 states across India. In 2007, SKS Microfinance claimed nearly 170 percent growth and a 99 percent on-time repayment rate.