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Alex Counts is the former CEO of the Grameen Foundation which he established in 1997, after having worked in microfinance and poverty reduction for 10 years. He trained under Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank, and co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Today Alex is a consultant to nonprofit organizations and an adjunct professor at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland College Park. Earlier in his career, Alex served as the legislative director of RESULTS and as a regional project manager for CARE-Bangladesh. His newest book, When in Doubt, Ask for More: And 213 Other Life and Career Lessons for the Mission-Driven Leader, was published in March 2020 and details the highs and lows of being a leader of a nonprofit organization and what he learned along his own journey.


  • What exactly microfinance is and how it benefits people worldwide (4:05)
  • How Alex got inspired to join the world of microfinance (6:21)
  • What one of the best lessons Alex learned to help you achieve your goals (9:35)
  • What the Fulbright Program is all about  (11:36)
  • Why it’s better to be straight-forward when fundraising for a lot of money (19:50)
  • What you can learn by reading his book When in Doubt, Ask for More: and 213 Other Life and Career Lessons for the Mission-Driven Leader, particularly in fundraising (29:32)
  • Why it’s important to build robust professional relationships (30:34)
  • How to approach finding a mentor and developing that relationship (35:26)
  • Why reaching out to college professors will help you grow in any field (46:52)
  • If you want to learn how to break into microfinance and poverty reduction tune in to Alex’s Espresso Shots interview T4C episode #517

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