2014 Advent

China’s Microfinance Pioneer, Ning Tang (C’99), Is Next Entrepreneur In Residence


Sewanee students and community members will have a chance to meet Ning Tang, a leading Chinese entrepreneur and a pioneer in bringing access to business lending to microenterprises, farmers, and small businesses in China next week, when Tang comes to Sewanee as the Humphreys Entrepreneur in Residence for 2014.

While on campus, Tang will teach several classes and meet with students and faculty. On Tuesday, September 23, he will deliver a public lecture titled “Microfinance, Macro Impact: A Story of Financial Innovation in China” at 4:30 PM, in Gailor Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public with a reception to follow.

In 2006, Tang founded CreditEase, which brings together entrepreneurs seeking small business loans with Chinese investors. The firm has offices in over 100 cities and 20 rural areas. It arranges loans to urban micro-entrepreneurs, salary workers, vocation school students, and the rural poor. One of the firm’s innovations is its ability to offer investors assurance of the credit-worthiness of the borrowers. The firm has arranged more than one million loans to Chinese small businesses, micro-entrepreneurs, and farmers.

Tang, who graduated from Sewanee in 1999, learned about the world of microfinance during an internship at Grameen Bank. The founder of Grameen Bank, Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus, who won a Nobel Prize for the creation of microenterprise lending. Yunus was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of the South in 1998.

After Tang graduated from Sewanee as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, he launched his business career with a stint on Wall Street with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, an investment bank now owned by Credit Suisse.

Drawing on Tang’s experience in financial services, CreditEase also provides services to China’s growing middle class. The firm and Tang have received numerous honors for bringing innovative business models to the entrepreneurial sector in China and for their efforts at poverty alleviation in China.

The Humphreys Residencies focus on the topics of entrepreneurship and business leadership. This program is endowed by David, C '79, and Debra Humphreys of Joplin, Mo.

The Humphreys Entrepreneurial Residencies, the Graham Executive Residencies and the Bryan Viewpoints Speaker Series are programs of the Babson Center for Global Commerce.

The 2014 Humphreys Residency is in collaboration with the Asian Studies Program, the Economics Department, International and Global Studies Program, the office of the International Student Advisor, and the Social Entrepreneurship Education Program (SEED).