Alex Counts spoke at the Net Impact Conference in 2010, which took place at Cornell University during the spring semester, while I was teaching a course there. I had the good fortune of being recommended to listen to his talk. Today I had the good fortune of encountering him again, on this podcast series that I have so far been batting 1,000 with:
Microfinance lending, the practice of making small loans to individuals who would otherwise not qualify for traditional loans, has been a proven method of nurturing entrepreneurship in developing countries. As a college student, Alex read about the work of Noble Prize winning Dr. Muhammad Yunus and his efforts in microfinance. Eager to contribute, he moved to Bangladesh soon after graduating and worked under Dr. Yunus to learn the intricacies of microfinance lending. In 1997, Alex branched off and founded the Grameen Foundation in order to expand microfinance efforts globally.
Alex speaks to Jessica about how he turned a $6000 seed investment into a leading international microfinance organization, from scratch.
Click the image above to go to the podcast. Besides reminding me of how much I enjoyed hearing him speak in person, and as an alumnus of Cornell no less, this got me thinking of Net Impact. We have had some insightful reports from this last year’s edition of the conference from Tim. I knew Tim well enough in 2010 when he was a student (not in my course) that when he suggested I should go hear Alex speak, I decided to give it a shot.
The impact Tim’s recommendation had on me was lasting. And it has been sustained. Tim’s net impact on Raxa Collective’s outreach through this site, for example, is incomparable. There was a time a few months ago when we noted that he and Seth were vying for Top Author status, measured by which post is the most viewed of all time since this site started; but since then Tim’s top post now has 1,700 more views than the second most viewed post, which is Seth’s.
We have several new contributors preparing posts, and I am looking forward to the expansion in viewpoints. And while no one here is competing with anyone else in the manner suggested above, a bit of rivalry can be good for team spirit…