Microfinance USA 2011
AboutMicrofinance attended the 2-day conference in New York City along with over 800 participants. The focus was to explore, debate and analyze microfinance in the United States. Organized by Accion, US Network, Opportunity Fund and Kiva, the conference constituted a forum for investors, policymakers, academics, and practitioners to engage in best practices and share lessons learned from the global microfinance sector. Panelists discussed access to financial products for poor households, including savings, microinsurance, credit scoring, microlending, pricing transparency, and capital raising to support microfinance endeavors. Entrepreneurs also discussed the impact of accessing microloans for their businesses which enabled them to grow and flourish. A lively debate ensued on “Balancing Act: Mission, Profit, and Impact in Microfinance” that highlighted some of the issues confronting the microfinance industry today, ranging from mission drift to suitable interest rates to social impact to commercialization of microfinance. Finally, participants were encouraged to endorse the SMART Campaign – the Microfinance Industry’s Client Protection Initiative, which already has over 1,800 signatories globally.