Vancity and the Microfinance wiki.

I am so pleased to announce the new wiki Vancity has launched. It is for the Microfinance community in Canada, and lives at microfinance.ca.

Why did we launch a wiki? Well, in short, we are a longtime Microfinance practitioner wanting to expand knowledge amongst those who are involved with Microfinance in Canada.

We have a product called Circle lending, in which a peer group takes out very small loans together, and help each other to succeed in what are usually home-based businesses to repay their loans together. It is an amazingly transformational product, designed to help lift people out of poverty and give them a new chance.

Additionally, we have a Microcredit Toolkit, which is an open source peer lending model so any institution can replicate it. We were incredibly honoured that Muhammad Yunus, who won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for founding Grameen Bank, personally endorsed our toolkit a couple of years ago.

As you can see, we are deeply involved with the Microfinance model in Canada, and wanted to create a place where we could take the open source concept a little further. So we created and are hosting a wiki where anyone can add information as a practitioner, researcher or follower of Microfinance in Canada, with the aim of growing and evolving a central knowledge repository about the subject.

I think it’s a great example of a very inexpensive solution to create affinity within a specific community. Now let’s see if people find it useful.

I want to recognize the amazing Catherine Ludgate, who manages Vancity’s Microfinance programs, and without whose support this never would have been launched. The second I came up with the idea of a wiki to bring together the Microfinance community, Catherine was enthusiastically on board. If you want to know more, here’s a great article about Catherine.

I also must thank Tim McAlpine and Currency Marketing for creating a wiki that doesn’t look like a wiki. See the screenshot below to see what I mean…

Oh, and PS: Colin Henderson at CommunityLend, I am hoping you’ll be the first to add yourself to the wiki…

microfinance.ca

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