Why would the New York Times bother to do a story on your slightly unhelpful yet quasi altruistic non-profit tech start-up? Because your name is Joshua Kushner, your brother Jared owns the New York Observer, and the word “scion” can be applied to you, that’s why.
It seems aside from pimping themselves out to a shady Mexican billionaire and music mogul David Geffen the Times is buttering up the Kushners for a loan by writing a 1,300 word profile on little bro Joshua’s new pet project UniThrive. Besides being all jazzed that they might get some sweet Kushner cash, there was a fail. The reporter didn’t even check out the microfinance group Kiva.org and the Times was forced to run a correction yesterday. That’s just odd given UniThrive co-founder Tanuj Parikh is the cousin of Kiva’s president.
Details and why begging is the new working after the jump.
UniThrive offers students and alumni a chance to connect, providing the students with up to a $2,000 interest-free loan with a five year term. In exchange, the students must write letters to their investor three times a year like one of those Christian Children’s Fund fund kids from a developing nation. Though it only provides privileged Harvard kids loans from privileged Harvard alumni right now, soon it will help college kids everywhere. Not like Facebook after Harvard where “everywhere” meant the Ivies, actually everywhere.
This site is launched even as getting financial aid at Harvard becomes easier and easier. Currently they offer free tuition to children of families making under $60,000 a year, an amount above both American median and average household incomes. And the average Harvard student only carries about $8,000 in debt at graduation according to the Times piece. But working is lame. Rising Harvard junior Ricky Kuperman:
If I don’t get the money, I will have to work longer next summer or during the term
Little Ricky just wants to dance. Except the $2,000 loan he is seeking will go towards spending time doing karate in Okinawa. Wait, what? The lucky alum who lets Ricky live the dream will be investing in his fitness, which his future in show business is apparently contingent upon.
Even Kiva is getting in on the action, because yogurt, like work, is totally boring, and college kids have such hard times getting loans. Parikh’s cousin explains:
Some people might want to fund a yogurt maker in Senegal, but someone might want to fund an 18-year-old in South Boston who wants to go learn a skill or a trade.
The Kushners, everyone: Making the world a better place by diverting money from Bolivian chicken farmers to Harvard dancers. Maybe they’ll keep the newspapers alive, too.