This the last of a 4 part series of an interview with Tom Eggert. This is where we get to talk about an organization that is near and dear to his heart as it is one that he founded after having retired from his full time job as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Following the Haitian earthquake in January, 2010, Tom, with the help of his students at UW Madison, worked to raise money to help individuals in Haiti recover from the devastating impacts of the earthquake. Instead of donating the money to a non-profit, they formed Wisconsin Microfinance to explore the role that access to capital could play in improving the quality of life of desperately poor individuals. These small loans are managed by a partner in Haiti, with funding from the US. The program was designed using principles developed by Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank. The Haitian program has been immensely successful. Over 800 individuals are on the waiting list for future loans. The program has subsequently expanded into the Philippines after Typhoon Yolanda which destroyed large parts of the country. Lessons learned from Haiti were incorporated into program development in the Philippines.
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