Seattle-based microfinance provider Unitus will dissolve operations, lay off all 45 of its employees, and redirect its assets into a new antipoverty venture, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.
In a press statement, Unitus said that after fulfilling existing commitments, it will form a “reinvented organization” to work on “poverty-focused philanthropic activities.”
The 10-year-old nonprofit group had given little sign of the impending change, hiring a new chief executive late last year and agreeing in March to administer a $15-million fund for developing nations, the Business Journal writes. Bookda Gheisar, executive director of international-development umbrella group Global Washington, said she was “shocked” by the news.
The U.S. microfinance industry has seen significant growth since the recession hit, but it faces hurdles that could prevent it from matching microlending’s impact in the developing world, according to a Wall Street Journal assessment.
(A paid subscription is required to view the Wall Street Journal article.)