Microfinance NGOs

“Live the life you have imagined.”
— Henry David Thoreau


“United for Zion,” A book by Woodworth, Grenny, & Manwaring on the founding of Unitus, a global microfinance accelerator.

“Building Zion in Brazil,” by Warner Woodworth to the Brazilian Management Society, Sao Paulo, August 17, 2007.

The following NGOs were started here at BYU, through my courses, and/or involve BYU alumni as board, staff, and so on.

Mentors International 

This NGO was founded in 1990 by myself and a group of LDS friends in the Philippines as Enterprise Mentors International. It is a Third World development foundation designed to build self-reliance and entrepreneurial spirit within those who struggle for sufficiency in developing countries. Working first in the Philippines and then expanding to Latin America and Africa, Mentors establishes local boards of directors and indigenous staff, building increased self-reliance. Efforts are made to charge for consulting services based upon ability to pay, transforming the donor-receiver dependency relationship into a character building, consultant-client relationship. A nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, Mentors depends on individual, foundation, and corporate donations to achieve its goals. Primary interventions include training, consulting, walk-in services, professional referrals, and access to microcredit loans. As a co-founder, I served for many years on Mentor’s board, mentored a number of interns and research projects with students and Mentor’s overseas partners, recruited many board members and advisors, and helped raise millions of dollars through my speeches and contacts.

65 East Wadsworth Park Dr. Suite 207
Draper, UT  84020
(801) 676-7776
contact: info@mentorsinternational.org

Research Articles
“Inventing the Future: Self-reliance in the Philippines”This People Magazine, Summer 1997, pp. 20-26.

“Filipino Strategies for Economic Self-Reliance: Microenterprise and Micro Credit”. Case Study, 1997.

“Indigenous Management: Microentrepreneurship in the Philippines”Exchange Magazine, Spring 1996, pp. 1-13.

News and Media
“Loans Revive Poor, Urban Societies.” The Daily Universe. January 10, 1996.
“Tackling Poverty from the Bottom Up.” Compassion & Culture. November 2000.
“Long on Cash, Short on Recipients? Try Philanthropy.” Chicago Tribune. December 22, 2000.
“A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out.” LDS Church News. December 9, 2000.
“Where Credit is Overdue.” Rotarian. June 2001.
“Micro-credit Group Gets New Partner.” Daily Universe. March 5, 2003.
“Loan ‘Mentors’ Started at BYU is Moving into Peru.” Deseret News. March 21, 2003.
“How a Seed-Money Loan of $60 Turned Melanie Pico into an Entrepreneur.” New York Times. July 8, 2003.
“Enterprise Mentors Aids Those Who are Financially Struggling.” Deseret News. September 4, 2004.
“Small Loans Making a Huge Difference.” Deseret Morning News. October 29, 2005.
“First Presidency Speaks at Gala.” BYU NewsNet. October 31, 2005.
“Saving Lives–One Loan at a Time.” Meridian Magazine. November 1, 2005.

Partner Organizations
Fundación Dignidad (Mexico)
Mentores Empresariales (El Salvador)
Fundacion Fenix (Guatemala)
Mindinao Enterprise Development Foundation (Davao, Philippines)
Philippines Microenterprise Development Foundation (Manila, Philippines)
Visayas Enterprise Foundation (Cebu, Philippines)
Asociación Surgir (Peru)


“The highest service we can perform for others is to help them help themselves.”
— Horace Mann


UNITUS, International NGO

Warner (left), Kaye (center), and other UNITUS board members touring Mexico ruins after visiting our Pro-Mujer partner (2003).


To address the challenges facing small, original microfinance institutions (MFIs), we started Unitus in 1999-2000 with a group of mostly BYU-connected board members: professor, alumni, students, and donors. Since then, Unitus developed new, innovative ways of accelerating the growth of carefully selected MFIs. As a global microfinance accelerator, Unitus provided the necessary high-impact capital funding and strategic organizational capacity building consulting to the highest potential MFIs in developing countries. Its global approach vastly increased the number of loans that existing MFIs could make to the working poor and empower significantly more families to work their way out of poverty. With its huge successes, it raised hundreds of millions of dollars to NGOs throughout the globe and eventually divided itself up into various new organizations, including capital investment funds, management consulting for SMEs, and other initiatives. Its offices spread from Utah to Washington to Kenya, and currently the main office is in India.

Kaiser-E-Hind, Second Floor, No. 9/3 Richmond Road
Bangalore – 560 025 – India
+91 80 67236400
contact: info@unituscapital.com

News and Media
“Why Micro Matters.” Time Magazine. Vol 162. Iss 21. November 24, 2003.
“Y Grad Aims to Eliminate Poverty.” The Daily Universe. July 31, 2002.
“Students Create Enterprising Ideas at Entrepreneurial Forum.” The Daily Universe. May 10, 2001.

ProMujer (Mexico)
SKS (India)


“No man is an island. Entire of itself. Every man is a piece of the continent. A part of the main.”
— John Donne, author of For Whom the Bell Tolls


MicroBusiness Mentors

MicroBusiness Mentors graduation after receiving training for Provo Latinos as potential entrepreneurs.

On changing the world. . . . “Yes, it can be done!”
— Cesar Chavez, Farm Workers Union organizer


Known by its nickname, MBM, this organization grew out of my course, Social Entrepreneurship: Becoming A Global Change Agent in winter 2003. Five students launched the design of a new NGO which we decided to call MicroBusiness Mentors. The focus is on the poor and unemployed Latino community in Provo, Utah. That group of students and other team members since then conducted feasibility studies, carried out a community needs assessment, used local government and business officials as sounding boards, and designed and implemented this new organization. MBM provides eight sessions of microentrepreneurship training, then gives microloans for new business start-ups, beginning at $500 each, and then assigns a Spanish-speaking mentor with past business experience to offer pro bono consulting and technical assistance. Training started at the Marriott School, BYU, later move to the Centro Hispano, and now partners with the SBDC at Utah Valley University. We have been working for two decades to build a successful working model in Provo and around the State of Utah.

PO Box 2254
Provo, UT 84601
Training Location:
Utah Valley University

News and Media
“Help to Small Businesses in Provo,” Mundo Hispano. Agosto 22, 2003. Spanish.
“MicroBusiness Mentors”. Presentation to the Provo Mayor and City Council, March 2003.


“Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.”
— Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC)


Acción Contra la Pobreza
Acción Contra la Pobreza, translating as “Action Against Poverty” is also called the ACP program. It is a microcredit model that has grown out of the experience of BYU students working with HELP International. The ACP methodology of microlending specifically caters to the needs of the poorest of the poor. This program provides loans to groups of five to nine women year round in Tegucigalpa, the capital city of Honduras. Since 2000, ACP has evolved into a U.S.-based nonprofit foundation that includes a number of other NGOs.


“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
— Mahatma Gandhi


Yehu Bank

Donations for microfinance in Kenyan villages

Yehu means “Our” in Swahili. Yehu Bank is a microfinance organization established by Louis Pope and family, BYU friends and others, in the rural coastal region of Kenya. It provides financial and other support services for small businesses owned by very poor people, operating in conjunction with Choice Humanitarian. It was created based on the principles and procedures of the world-renowned Grameen Bank.

Yehu combats poverty by empowering the very poor of rural Kenya to help themselves through the use of micro-loans, which can be used to start or expand their small businesses. So far, the bank has given out over 3,000 loans and enjoyed a 97 percent payback rate.

7879 South 1530 West
Suite 200
West Jordan, UT 84088
(801) 474-1937
Toll-free (888) 474-1937
(801) 474.1919 (FAX)


“I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

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