Wokai: Microfinance and the Future of China
Google Tech Talk
November 15, 2010
Presented by Casey Wilson.
Booming economic zones, the Shanghai skyline, glitzy shopping malls and busy highways... these are the images that we increasingly associate with today's China. And yet while the economic success story is inescapable, China still has the second largest population in the world living under the poverty line and one of the world's fasting growing rural-urban divides. One of the only ways of closing this gap is giving China's rural poor the tools to build their own livelihoods and move themselves and their families towards economic independence. Join Casey Wilson, nonprofit startup entrepreneur, to learn about the evolution of microfinance in China and Wokai's approach of using the internet to allow contributors around the world to provide loan capital to borrowers in rural China, empowering them to start small businesses and lift themselves from poverty.
About Wokai: Wokai is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to alleviating poverty in China through microfinance. Through www.wokai.org, contributors loan as little as $10 to a borrower, collect repayments each month, and allocate capital to a new borrower at the end of the loan cycle. Since the website launch in November 2008, Wokai has raised over US$250,000 in loan capital, attracted 5,600 users, and empowered over 400 borrowers. Wokai has been featured in CNN, Time, MSNBC, CNBC, Newsweek, CCTV, Phoenix TV, 三联生活周刊, and Bloomberg.
About Casey Wilson: As Co-founder & CEO of Wokai, Casey fosters important relationships with philanthropic, microfinance, public, and private sector organizations. She also serves on Wokai's board of directors, and leads its business strategy and development, field partner due-diligence evaluation, and public outreach. Casey has been featured in prominent media outlets such as CNBC, Bloomberg, Phoenix TV, and Newsweek, speaking about microfinance in China. Casey graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in economics, focusing on economic development and its applications in the Chinese context.