Press

2013

August 2, 2013

Vittana CEO Robin Wolaner discusses startup lessons for non-profits with Cory Johnson on Bloomberg Television's ""Bloomberg West.""

– Bloomberg TV
February 4, 2013

"This gap between the need for educational loans and students’ dreams is being addressed by the micro-financing program offered by Vittana, a Seattle-based Non-Profit organization, which provides educational loans to bright and motivated students like Ben

– Open Equal Free
January 7, 2013

"the average loan recipient triples their income. “For many that means going from two to three dollars a day to ten,”

– Deseret News

2012

December 12, 2012

"GeekWire raised more than $32,000 for Vittana’s education-oriented student loan program, with various companies in town pooling their funds in a bit of friendly philanthropic competition."

– Forbes
December 6, 2012

"Venture capital Vinod Khosla and Zillow co-founder Rich Barton have joined forces to bankroll Vittana, the Seattle non-profit that’s attempting to wipe out youth poverty through education-oriented microloans."

– GeekWire
Interview with Kushal Chakrabarti
September 1, 2012

"5 young people around the globe cannot afford to pay to completepost-secondary education or training, leaving the productive capacity of the next generation hugely underdeveloped.

– New Internationalist
July 19, 2012

In lieu of gifts this year, my birthday wish is to help poor youth in developing nations finish school. This breaks the cycle of poverty and creates problem solvers in places with problems that affect communities, entire countries, and the world at large.

– Tim Ferriss Blog
May 17, 2012

"Good Carma Studio and Crunchies helped throw a very special Ladies Night at Brooke Burke's home to benefit the non-profit Vittana, an organization that helps young people around the world to get loans to finish their education."

– Modern Mom
May 2, 2012

"On the eve of the GeekWire’s big Seattle 2.0 Awards bash, I’m excited to see Seattle become a hub for our very own hard-headed idealists: techies and startup geeks borrowing the best of business and philanthropy to change the world — scalably, sustainabl

– GeekWire
April 27, 2012

"Vittana, a digital “microloan” nonprofit, aims to helps young students around the world get out of poverty. For as little as $25, people can make a loan to a student in developing countries to help them get to college."

– Wall Street Journal Blog
March 8, 2012

"In honor of International Womens Day, Vittana has set a very lofty goal of funding tuition loans for 100 impoverished female students"

– Cool Mom Picks
January 24, 2012

"Nothing summarized the Intersection Event better than Kushal Chakrabarti’s comment halfway through the day. Lobbying for the audience award of $5,000 for his social enterprise Vittana, he said, “We don’t need Facebook for dogs. Do something that matters.

– Forbes

2011

December 14, 2011

Vittana, the Seattle non-profit facilitating micro-loans to students in developing countries, has received a $250,000 grant from Google.

– GeekWire
December 8, 2011

[Vittana] is proving that there is a market for other lenders, and is increasing hope and supercharging educational expectations among these communities. The former is more of a market innovation; the latter is an affirmation of potential.

– Stanford Social Innovation Review
December 1, 2011

The brilliance of Vittana is that everyone whether in the developed or the developing world has some connection to education. That is the first step. If a lender can find common ground with those in need, they are more likely to lend--and lend, and lend.

– The Global Journal
November 13, 2011

Read the paper Nick Cain presented in association with Vittana's presentation on the panel "Empowering the Children of Microentrepreneurs with Primary and Secondary Education, College Scholarships and Loans, and Financial Services for Their Businesses"

– Microcredit Summit 2011
August 11, 2011

In 2008, PopTech Social Innovation Fellow Kushal Chakrabarti presented his project, Vittana, on stage at PopTech. Three years later, the non-profit has announced their 1,000th student loan since launch.

– Pop!Tech
August 8, 2011

With all the discussion about how we need to rethink elements of the education system — in the U.S. and elsewhere — it’s important to remember that for most people around the world, education is not just a privilege, it’s a necessity.

– NPR: KQED
July 31, 2011

If you give young people earning $3-4/day a chance, they're not going to give it up. And over 99% of students repay.

– Rainmakers.TV
June 13, 2011

"Since 2008, Kushal and Vittana have helped a 1,000 students in 11 countries finish school. Incredibly, 99 percent of Vittana's partnering students repay their loans in full, and many of them start saving up while they're still in school."

– The Huffington Post
May 6, 2011

"We are reaching 1,000 students. But there is so much more to be done. When you think about the need in this world for education, it is not 1,000, it is 100,000, it is a million. That's what we're out to achieve."

– Seattle 2.0

2010

October 6, 2010

"During the nerd rockfest that was the Clinton Global Initiative, Vittana announced that it would give 10,000 loans of $1,000 each to students in Africa. In a few months, Rwandan students may be asking, "Can you add us to the list?"

– Christian Science Monitor
October 4, 2010

"Kushal Chakrabarti, co-founder and CEO of Vittana, is a keynote speaker with Matt Flannery, co-founder and CEO of Kiva, and Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen Fund."

– Social Capital Markets 2010
September 22, 2010

"[Vittana] will help 10,000 students complete the "last mile" of their education. With about $1,000, these students can gain real, employable skills in fields such as nursing, law enforcement, and IT, changing the entire trajectory of their lives."

– Clinton Global Initiative
September 9, 2010

"Finding new ways to fund poor students in emerging markets has become a hotbed of innovation. Vittana, founded three years ago by Kushal Chakrabarti, is raising loans for students in five countries, with more soon to follow."

– The Economist
August 10, 2010

"What motivates me is do something that is useful," Chakrabarti says. "We need to be kind and genuine in all that we do. But, at the same time, this isn't a big 'Kumbaya' fuzz-fest. We need to make real things happen."

– Puget Sound Business Journal
June 30, 2010

– The Huffington Post Jun 2010
Vittana Connects Students In Developing Nations With Tiny Lenders Worldwide
June 12, 2010

"As she stood onstage at her graduation ceremony in Managua, Nicaragua, Luceymi Maria Lopez Lopez described how the diploma felt in her hand. "Grandioso," she said. "Superbien." "I never thought I would be able to finish," Lopez said."

– Los Angeles Times
April 28, 2010

"This reality is familiar to Nardith Torres Marcelo, a 23-year-old mother in Peru who dreamed of becoming a nurse. After graduating high school, Marcelo enrolled in technical school but had to drop out to work full-time and care for her son."

– Politics Daily
April 17, 2010

"If you care about higher education, this microlending site might be right up your alley."

– Mashable
February 1, 2010

"We're jump-starting a global system of access to higher education, says Chakrabarti, 28-year-old founder of Vittana. It has made some of the first-ever student loans in Vietnam, Peru, Paraguay, Nicaragua, and soon Cambodia."

– Fast Company
January 1, 2010

"The pioneering education microfinance outfit has made the first-ever student loans in Peru, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Mongolia, and Vietnam. Although it's less than a year old and still small -- a few hundred students -- the startup has drawn accolades."

– Fast Company

2009

December 20, 2009

– Fox Business Network
December 6, 2009

"If you're trying to raise standards of living," Mr. Ogden said, "making an education loan is probably a better way of doing that than lending another $100 to an illiterate and unskilled woman to open another roadside stand."

– The New York Times
November 20, 2009

"With such a sharp and well-defined business model and powerful supporters, this organization may be well on its way to making a significant impact in the world of microfinance. It may also represent a way forward for the next generation in microfinance."

– Next Billion
November 19, 2009

"Realizing that education is the quickest route out of poverty, Vittana aims to make it easier for poor families to send their children to school."

– The Huffington Post
November 8, 2009

"Although only 1 1/2 years old, the program is already flourishing in Nicaragua, Peru, Bolivia and Mongolia, Chakrabarti said. "The power of what we as individuals, we as a community can do is really amazing."

– Mormon Times
September 1, 2009

– fbFund
July 28, 2009

"While microcredit has made great strides, says Vittana CEO Kushal Chakrabarti, it hasn't lifted poor entrepreneurs into the middle class. That's usually left to the next generation, so the first chance borrowers get, they send their kids to school."

– The Seattle Times
February 26, 2009

People who visit the site can choose to make small loans to these students to help them complete their educations.

– TechFlash

2008