Vittana is a non-governmental organization that allows people to lend money via the Internet to students in the developing world. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Seattle. Vittana focuses on student loans because student loans are nearly unavailable in developing countries.
Lenders browse through a list of students and select who they wish to fund. The loans issued by Vittana range from $200 to $1,500 and are funded by individual lenders through its website. Students are given cash advances for educational expenses before money from donors has been collected. The cash advance provided by a partner organization is covered when Vittana has aggregated sufficient money from donors. One hundred percent of the loans are given to the student. A mother or a close relative acts as a co-signer. The recipient of the loan can repay the loan after landing a job. Vittana students have had a 97% repayment rate.
Vittana has collaborated with several organizations such as the Clinton Global Initiative, Brigham Young University, Frog Design, Grameen Foundation, HOPE International, Lex Mundi, Orrick, Perkins Coie, Pop!Tech, Unitus and University of Washington, Seattle. In collaboration with Clinton Global Initiative as a key education partner, Vittana partnered with Africa's microfinance institutions to launch lending programs which fund post-secondary education for young people. The loans are able to help 10,000 students complete higher education by 2015. Amazon.com has backed Vittana's educational loans.
- Rao. L. (2010). Vittana Applies The Kiva Model To Help Finance Education In Developing Countries. Retrieved March 9, 2011, from http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/15/vittana-applies-the-kiva-model-to-help-finance-education-in-developing-countries/
- About Vittana. (n.d.). Retrieved March 9, 2011, from http://www.vittana.org/about
- A. Villiani, Storytelling: Tall Tales On Online Platforms? Viewed on 11 Mar 2011, http://beyondprofit.com/storytelling-tall-tales-on-online-platforms/
- Vittana FAQ from http://www.vittana.org/about/faq
- How it works. (n.d.) Retrieved March 9, 2011, from http://www.vittana.org/howitworks
- Vittana's Partners. (n.d). Retrieved March 9, 2011, from http://www.vittana.org/partners
- Heim. C. (2009). Amazon.com veterans back Vittana educational loans. Retrieved March 9, 2011, from http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/thebusinessofgiving/2009552528_vittana.html
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