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Thanks to the efforts of 27-year-old Southern California native Kushal Chakrabarti, a nonprofit is tapping the microcredit market to fund loans for low-income college students in developing nations — a need that has been largely unmet by traditional banks. Vittana, named after a Telugu word for “seed,” pools funds from Internet users all over the world and then partners with local microfinance banks in countries such as Nicaragua and Vietnam to provide loans to students when typical banks won’t.

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