Balancing Growth and Mission at the Microcredit Campaign Summit

August 1, 2008 Posted by Update

Unitus joins hundreds of microfinance leaders in Bali, Indonesia

This July, the 2008 Asia-Pacific Regional Microcredit Campaign Summit convened microfinance institutions (MFIs), non-governmental organizations, foundations, corporations, and government leaders from around the world to discuss the challenges, trends, and new opportunities arising in microfinance.

Unitus, along with several of our partner MFIs, joined Dr. Muhammad Yunus and more than 900 other delegates for several days of dialogue and discovery to outline the next chapter for the microfinance sector. In the midst of intense debate over recent privatization within the sector, much of the conference centered around finding common ground for new areas of focus and collaboration.

An important area of interest for Unitus is increased financial transparency for MFIs and the clients they serve. During the opening plenary, Dr. Yunus and Chuck Waterfield of Microfin announced the launch of MFTransparency, an initiative that aims to bring truth-in-lending standards to microfinance by publishing standardized annual interest rates on its website. Unitus and nearly 45 other microfinance-related organizations endorsed the initiative as a critical next step in ensuring ethical lending practices.

Catherine Shaw, Director of Consulting at Unitus, moderated a panel that included Samit Ghosh, founder and CEO of Ujjivan—a Unitus partner MFI—and Scott Gaul, Product Development Manager of Microfinance Information Exchange, Inc. (MIX), a public information platform for microfinance practitioners and investors. Their session, “Finding the Sweet Spot: How MFIs Balance Growth and Mission,” offered new insights for balancing and measuring social and financial goals.

Unitus also announced at the conference the launch of Unitus Capital. As a new for-profit strategic affiliate of Unitus, the financial advisory firm was established to meet the investment needs of social entrepreneurs serving the bottom of the economic pyramid.