Vittana means opportunity for students

In 2008, PopTech Social Innovation Fellow Kushal Chakrabarti presented his project, Vittana, on stage at PopTech. Three years later, the non-profit, which provides microloans for individuals seeking to further their education, announced their 1,000 student loan since launch.

Seattle-based Vittana uses a model similar to microfinancing site Kiva to allow folks to lend money in small increments to students from around the world. Lenders can choose the student they wish to support from Vittana's student database (you can select by region, what they are studying or by reading their personal story). So far, Vittana claims a 99% repayment rate, which lenders can then reinvest or withdraw as cash.   

Vittana is now kicking off a new campaign "What Does Education Mean to You?" allowing folks to share their personal take on this important question (see video above). However varied the answers and whatever language they are spoken in, education ultimately means opportunity and one that Vittana helps provide.

"Education is so personal: it means something different to each of us," observes Kushal, "At the same time, it's so universal: it means something to every one of us, young or old, American or African, rich or poor."

Hear what technology and business leaders like Tim Ferris, Baratunde Thurston and Tim O'Reilly are saying about what education has meant to them and help Vittana reach their goal of 10,000 different perspectives. Visit their site to share your thoughts - it takes less than a minute and could help change someone's future for the better.

Congratulations to Kushal and his team. We look forward to celebrating their 10,000 loan with them in the not-too-distant future.

Follow on Twitter: @vittana

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