Thursday, October 07, 2010

Microfinance Helps People Help Themselves

Vinod Khosla, the billionaire venture capitalist and co-founder of Sun Microsystems, was already among the world’s richest men when he invested a few years ago in SKS Microfinance, a lender to poor women in India. Since then, Khosla has an extra $117 million to his name. He says he plans to dive into other ventures that focus on fighting poverty while trying to spin a profit. Khosla plans to start a venture capital fund to invest in companies that focus not only in India and Africa, but elsewhere by providing education, health, and energy services.

Forbes estimates that India now has 69 billionaires, up from seven in 2000. Khosla challenges them to do more to help their country's poor. India is also amongst the world's poor.“It surprises me that in India there is not a tradition of large-scale giving and helping to solve social problems and set a social model,” Mr. Khosla said.

"Mr. Khosla said it might take at least a year to set up his new venture fund. He intends to finance it from his SKS profits and then return to the fund any profits from subsequent ventures it backs ("

Microfinance plays a huge combating role in developing countries. The business of giving to poor entrepreneurs. Not only does it provide jobs, but it creates much needed sustainability which optimizes alleviation of global poverty where possible.

-Shereen Alibhai