2016 MacArthur ‘genius’ class includes nonprofit founder who helps the unbanked

The Wall Street Journal/RAMIN RAHIMIAN

José Quiñonez, shown in a photo from several years ago, runs Mission Asset Fund.

The MacArthur Foundation’s latest list of geniuses includes José Quiñonez, lauded for helping to put unbanked people on a “pathway to mainstream financial services and non-predatory credit.”

Quiñonez is the founder and CEO of Mission Asset Fund, a San Francisco nonprofit that aims to assist minority, immigrant and low-income households that lack or don’t frequently use bank accounts — or that don’t have standard credit reports.

His organization is helping these households by linking rotating credit associations or lending circles — a traditional practice in Latin America, Asia and Africa — to the formal financial sector, the MacArthur Foundation said on its website.

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