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Ernst & Young and to Work Together to Increase Transparency of Micro-Loans to Entrepreneurs in the Developing World

Ernst & Young and to Work Together to Increase Transparency of Micro-Loans to Entrepreneurs in the Developing World

Published 09-24-08

Submitted by Ernst & Young

NEW YORK, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ --, the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, has received a donation of in-kind resources from Ernst & Young, the global professional services organization. As part of its commitment to entrepreneurship and corporate responsibility, Ernst & Young will mobilize its skilled professionals around the world to assist in increasing the transparency of its micro-lending process. This new partnership was announced and highlighted today at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting. partners with micro-finance institutions around the world, connecting developing world entrepreneurs in need of a loan with individuals who want to contribute loan funds via the internet. To date, has facilitated over $43 million in loans from over 337,000 users, to 60,000 developing world entrepreneurs, including carpet weavers in Afghanistan, goat herders in Uganda, and farmers in Ecuador.

Ernst & Young and will now work together to perform procedures related to the borrowers from the micro-finance institutions. These procedures include checking a borrower’s identity, the loan amount and term of the loan, and the amount of the investment. This activity is central to's model and its ability to attract lenders, provide transparent and accurate data, partner with Micro-Finance Institutions, and ultimately deliver loans to individual borrowers.

"'s model relies on the accuracy of information provided about the entrepreneurs receiving loan funds through the website," noted Premal Shah, president of "We are constantly working to make the lending process more transparent, to show what effect it has on the people and institutions lending to it, borrowing it, and managing it along the way. Our new relationship with Ernst & Young is designed to continue to improve the oversight and accountability in this process."

Ernst & Young will provide up to US$1 million of in-kind resources over the next three years to assist in instituting these new controls.

"The work we will be conducting with is well-aligned with what we see as Ernst & Young's broader corporate responsibility, which is to put our people's workplace skills toward making a difference in our communities around the world," noted Jim Turley, Ernst & Young's Global Chairman and CEO. "We recognize the power of entrepreneurship for job creation and poverty alleviation and we are pleased to be able to use our experience to help assist these unique and innovative entrepreneurs in developing countries."

Ernst & Young’s commitment to action with significantly expands the reach of its work in the area of entrepreneurship and corporate responsibility.In addition to the partnership, Ernst & Young provides pro-bono technical assistance to a select group of high potential entrepreneurs through the Ernst & Young Corporate Responsibility Fellows Program. In addition, through a global "Entrepreneur of the Year(R)" (EOY) awards program, Ernst & Young provides broad-based recognition for the accomplishments of entrepreneurs around the world. As part of the EOY program, Ernst & Young collaborates with the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship on a Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 130,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve potential.

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Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients.

This news release has been issued by EYGM Limited, a member of the global Ernst & Young organization that also does not provide any services to clients.

About ( is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to an entrepreneur in the developing world. Founded in 2005,'s mission is to connect people, through lending, to alleviate poverty. currently connects lenders in more than 70 countries with entrepreneurs in 42 developing countries, through 89 microfinance partners. is headquartered in San Francisco.

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