Bdour Alhyari: Enabling the poor to participate in development

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18th Microcredit Summit Video Corner Interview Series

Bdour Alhyari, business development manager for Microfund for Women in Jordan, interviewed by Miranda Beshara, editor of the Arabic Microfinance Gateway.


Bdour Alhyari of Microfund for Women (Jordan) talks with Miranda Beshara, editor of the Arabic Microfinance Gateway, at the 18th Microcredit Summit. Microfund for Women launched a Campaign Commitment in 2015. Commitments are specific, measurable, and time-bound actions organizations take to support the Campaign goal to help 100 Million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty. “It is in our mission to enable and empower women at so many levels,” says Alhyari. “We thought we need to be part of this Campaign and commit to act, encourage others to commit to act.” (Learn more here.)

Microfinance plays “a great role” to help end poverty, says Alyhari, because it enables the financially excluded to gain access to the financial system. “Eighty percent [of the world’s population] are not allowed to access finance. Microfinance provides them with financial resources to enable them to participate in the development of societies, of communities. They [beneficiaries and clients] take the money. They create businesses, they continue their learning, their education, to enable them to be part of the development cycle. Gradually this will help to better livelihoods.”

Finally, Alhyari reflects on her time at the 18th Microcredit Summit. “The Summit has brought so many different expertise from different parts of the world,” she says. “We have shown our experience in microinsurance [and], providing the caregiver program, and we heard about other examples in microinsurance, green energy, and so many other topics, [such as] youth. It was a good platform to have this exchange to look at the expertise of each other and learn from it.”

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An interview with Larry Reed

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>> An interview with Larry Reed, director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign by Miranda Beshara

The first Microcredit Summit was held in 1997 and called for a nine-year campaign to reach 100 million of the world’s poorest families. In 2005, the Campaign was re-launched until 2015. In 2016, where does the Microcredit Summit Campaign stand and how does the future look like?

At the Halifax Global Summit in 2006, the microfinance community set two new goals for the Campaign. First, to reach 175 million of the world’s poorest families with microfinance and, second, to see 100 million of the world’s poorest families move out of extreme poverty. Our latest numbers, from 2014, show we still have a lot of work to do to reach those goals. Much of the growth of microfinance in recent years has been with families that are not living in extreme poverty. We have focused our attention on the types of finance that reaches to the poorest families, and helps them limit vulnerabilities and take advantage of opportunities.

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#tbt: Digital Transactions for Products the Poor Can Afford

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The promise of mobile technology infographic: how it works
Rodger Voorhies, director of financial services for the poor at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in the United States, talked to Larry Reed, director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign, for the 2013 State of the Campaign Report.

Larry Reed: What opportunities do you see for digital transactions making a difference in the lives of the very poor?

Rodger Voorhies: Like most of us, poor people live their lives through a lot of different kinds of financial connections, and payments are really the connective tissue that hold those financial transactions together. Unless we can figure out ways to help poor people transact in a way that is profitable for them and profitable for providers, we’re really not going to see large-scale financial inclusion take place.

Now, one of the most exciting things that’s going on for us is the ability of mobile money to reach down into really poor households, and so right now in a country like Tanzania 47 percent of households have a mobile money user. An exciting bit of that is not so much, okay, there’s one person in the household sending money to friends, but it might open up all kinds of innovations that before were previously unavailable.

So, let’s think about savings, because we know savings have a big impact on poor people. Well, it’s really hard to save, and poor people have to take a lot of self-control and we expect a lot of self-discipline out of them if they’re going to be able to save. If I can actually begin to transact digitally and I had defaulted into commitments accounts and savings accounts for school fees or whatever the mental maps are that work for me, I think we can see large scale inclusion that actually has a big development impact. And we know that the empirical evidence around these pieces work, so we know commitment accounts work, but poor people just don’t have a way to get those commitment accounts.

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Sam Daley-Harris Interview on CNBC Africa

On a visit to Nairobi this week in advance of the upcoming Summit in Nairobi, Campaign Director Sam Daley-Harris was interviewed on CNBC Africa’s Power Lunch which is aired in 43 African countries. View the interview here.

Podcast Interview with Sam Daley-Harris


At a recent event at the Dallas-based Chiapas Project Junior Committee, Youth Venture Ambassador Brian Weinberg sat down to speak with Microcredit Summit Campaign Director, Sam-Daley Harris.

Special thank for making this available online go to Dallas Social Venture Partners as part of their podcast series Maximizing Social Impact: A Podcast about Social Ventures”.

Hillary on Women’s issues and microcredit

Last week the New York Times published a 35 minute interview of the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, before she left for a 11-day visit to Africa.Mrs Clinton is a well known international advocate of women’s right, but she is also one of the earliest supporter of microcredit. She started to work for microcredit in 1983 and attended the first Microcredit Summit Campaign’s Global Summit in Washington in 1997 where we set our goals for 2015.

“I am struck by every international public-opinion poll I’ve ever seen, that the No. 1 thing most men and women want is a good job with a good income. It is at the core of the human aspiration to be able to support oneself, to give one’s children a better future.

Microenterprise is uniquely designed to empower women because — through the trial and error of its development, going back to Muhammad Yunus’s invention of it in Bangladesh — women are much greater at investing in future goods than the men who have participated in microcredit have turned out to be. And they are also very reliable in paying back, because they are so eager to have that extra help and recognition that microcredit provides.

I don’t make a distinction between economic empowerment and political, social empowerment; I think it’s fair to say both need to go hand in hand.” She told Mark Landler, the diplomatic correspondent for The New York Times, in this interview.

Read full interview

Sam Daley-Harris Discusses the Usefulness of Microcredit, and Debunks Some Critics


In a recent interview with Economic Times, Sam Daley-Harris, director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign, talks about the success of microfinance as a tool for poverty reduction and responds to the criticism that microfinance is slow and inefficient as a development project. Sam uses examples to highlight the importance of microfinance, noting that, “Singled out, microfinance is the most cost-effective way of addressing poverty.”

Click here to read the full article.

Jamii Bora in the News


One of the Microcredit Summit Campaign’s partners is Jamii Bora, a grassroots microfinance organization located in Nairobi, Kenya. The founder of Jamii Bora, Ingrid Munro, gave her first micro loans to 50 beggars in 1999. Her organization has now grown to over 200,000 members, many of whom are thieves, prostitutes and others who would normally be excluded from microfinance. Munro’s groundbreaking tactics have allowed Jamii Bora’s members to own their own successful businesses, obtain health insurance, and move out of the slums and into a new town that they have built themselves from the ground up.

Jacqueline Novogratz, journalist for the Huffington Post and founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, recently met with Ingrid Munro in Nairobi Kenya. Click here to read about her interview with Ms. Munro.

Interesting Article from Time Magazine

Mary Ellen Iskenderian, CEO of Women’s World Banking, a global network of 54 microfinance institutions and banks in 30 countries, spoke to Time’s Jeremy Caplan recently about how the financial crisis has affected those on the lower rungs of the world’s economic ladder.

http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1863443,00.html