Training the next generation of leaders in microfinance


"Cultivating the Next Generation of Leaders" plenary
We feature an interview with Glynis Rankin, CEO of Creative Metier in the UK, in Mapping Pathways out of Poverty: The State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign Report, 2015. Rankin and her team work to ensure that the financial inclusion industry possesses the leadership and capacity to ensure long-term success. In this interview, Rankin describes a study of industry leaders to understand their perspectives on leadership qualities that Creative Metier undertook in preparation for the 17th Microcredit Summit in Mexico last year. (Registration for the 18th Microcredit Summit is now open!)

Cultivating the next generation of leadership is an important consideration for the microfinance and financial inclusion sector. We have an important role to play in achieving universal financial access by 2020 and ending extreme poverty by 2030.

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How to be disability inclusive and age friendly


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Lucía Urtecho Calderón, client of Financiera FAMA, sells candy and candied fruits in Mercado Carlos Roberto Huembes, Nicaragua on December 13, 2012
>>Authored by Sonja E. Kelly and Misha Dave, Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion

Almost a year ago now, the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion launched two Campaign Commitments for further research and action on the inclusion of persons with disabilities and older people in financial services. If there is one lesson we have learned from following through on these Commitments, it is that including these populations in financial services is in some ways easier than practitioners expect it to be but, in other ways, harder than it looks.

In our research on aging and financial inclusion, one of the key insights was that financial service providers of all sizes often apply age caps on credit products. However, many institutions we talked with did not know exactly where these standards came from. Some attributed them to concerns about life expectancy of older clients, some to institutional history (“that’s just the way we do it”), some to the increase of credit portfolio insurance it would incur, and some to a perception of older people as economically dormant.

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4 interventions to help victims of trauma find hope and dignity


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The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion has made a Campaign Commitment to bring greater attention to the issue of aging and financial services and further support the inclusion of those with disabilities. Learn how you can join the global coalition of organizations working to help 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty.

Read the full text of Josh Goldstein’s keynote speech.

>>Josh Goldstein, Vice President, Economic Citizenship & Disability Inclusion, The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion

“Over a sixth of the world’s population has directly experienced armed conflict, torture, terrorism, sexual and gender-based violence, ethnic cleansing or genocide.”
— The Peter C. Alderman Foundation (PCAF) website

I recently attended the 8th Annual PCAF Pan-African Psychotrauma Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, a multidisciplinary event that focuses on psychological trauma in Africa’s war-affected societies. PCAF operates mental health clinics in Cambodia, Kenya, Liberia, and Uganda and conducts trainings for mental health professionals. At the conference,I was surrounded by global leaders from health care, academia, and a litany of organizations working in the mental health space.

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Microfinance for Microentrepreneurs in the United States


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A review of April Rinne’s Huffington Post article, “3 Lessons on Financial Inclusion and the Sharing Economy” EspañolFrançais Continue reading

2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit Declaration


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2013Summit banner+MCS logo_transparent_596x91
From October 9 to 11 we held the Microcredit Summit in Manila on the theme “Partnerships against Poverty.” Delegates of the Summit drafted and approved the 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit Declaration, listing the principles that we will follow to insure that microfinance works as a worthy partner in the movement to end extreme poverty. This is the text of that powerful and inspiring Declaration.

We, the participants in the Partnerships against Poverty Summit, state collectively and enthusiastically, that:


To reach this goal, we declare the following four commitments:

First, we commit to putting the poor first!

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Sign onto the Declaration in Support of the Independence of Grameen Bank


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Please join us and other allies of Grameen Bank in endorsing the Grameen Declaration EspañolFrançais Continue reading

What Technology Can (and Can’t) Do for Financial Inclusion

More from the Financial Inclusion 2020 launch: answering questions from webinar participants about technology. The #2013Summit – “Partnerships against Poverty” – will have a track on digital partnerships. October 9-11 in the Philippines. REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN —

Center for Financial Inclusion blog

> Posted by Loretta Michaels, Partner, HMS Wireless Consulting

Financial Inclusion 2020 Blog Series banner imageThe Financial Inclusion 2020 campaign at the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion is building a movement toward full financial inclusion by 2020. This blog series spotlights financial inclusion efforts around the globe, shares insights from the FI2020 consultative process, and highlights findings from “Mapping the Invisible Market.

A good webinar yields more questions than there is time to answer, and the Financial Inclusion 2020 launch webinar was a case in point. Participants asked some excellent questions we couldn’t address during the webinar, so we are now following up on some of the questions about technology. For answers, we turned to Loretta Michaels, who facilitates our FI2020 Technology Working Group.

Q: Andrew Pospielovsky (Egypt): Clearly technology will dramatically increase access to financial services, and this process of technological development is self-sustaining even without funder intervention. I believe the real…

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New Study Highlights U.S. Small and ‘Micro’ Businesses as Engines for Job Creation

–But are the poorest of the poor being served by and benefiting from microfinance in the US?–
Key study findings of a new report called “U.S. Microfinance: Small Loans, Big Results” (from Accion, Opportunity Fund, and the Aspen Institute) include:
1) *Microloans contribute to strong, sustainable small businesses.* Of small businesses financed in 2010, 97 percent reported that they were still in business in 2011.
2) *Microloans contribute to increases in small business owner take-home pay and business revenue.* 32 percent of small business owners surveyed reported an increase in owner’s draw and 36 percent indicated an increase in overall business revenue
3) *Accion supports small businesses primed for growth and ready to contribute to the local economy.* 43 percent of borrowers surveyed reported seeking a loan to grow their business, and nearly 70 percent reported that their businesses were full-time endeavors.

Helping Haiti Recover

The world is mobilizing to address the massive earthquake that hit Haiti on Tuesday, dealing a horrific blow to the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. The reported epicenter of the earthquake is a highly populated area known to house many of Port-au-Prince’s poorest families. The International Red Cross estimates that one-third of the island nation’s 9 million people have been displaced by the earthquake and many thousands are dead.

This disaster requires both immediate emergency relief and longer term rebuilding efforts. Microfinance will play a crucial role in the financing needs that inevitably arise from this type of catastrophe as Haitians look to rebuild their country.

Please Donate Today

Below are microfinance organizations participating directly in relief and recovery work among earthquake victims in Haiti. Click on the organization link below to donate:




Below are other organizations that include microfinance as a part of their work in Haiti, and are currently focused on providing immediate humanitarian assistance:







María Otero Confirmed as US Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs

The MCS is thrilled by Mrs. Otero’s nomination. As CEO of ACCION since 2000, Mrs. Otero directed an expansion of the organization, from serving 460,000 micro entrepreneurs with micro loans and technical assistance to over 3.7 million, through a portfolio that has grown from $274 million to nearly $3.6 billion. She has been a great advocate of microfinance in her books and has she spoke throughout the world on issues of microfinance, women and poverty alleviation.

In her final message as CEO of ACCION International, Mrs.Otero wrote:

Microfinance is not a silver bullet. Consumer protection, fair lending, acceptable profits and capital-market investment all remain critical, complex issues that warrant deep consideration and thoughtful debate.

We believe she will be a great asset to this administration and wish her the best as she now continues on with her mission of reinforcing democracy world wild from the Office of the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs!

Read full article by Robert Kropp