I thought microfinance is is a tool available only in so-called third-world countries, but it seems I was wrong. An organisation called Opportunity Fund organised a (unsurprisingly) sold-out conference for May 28 at Stanford University, called Microfinance California. Here’s what Opportunity Fund founder and CEO, Eric Weaver, has to say:
As the federal government shells out hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money to prop up failing financial institution, with no end in sight, there’s one sector that is not only in the bloom of health, but is offering hope and help to many around the world.
Many people know of microfinance as a successful strategy for overseas development, but don’t realize that microfinance has been helping low income people in the US for the last ten years. Now, in the wreckage of the recession, the country is looking for fresh strategies for fighting poverty and patching income loss. Microfinance is about to become one of the significant solutions on the table.
This month my organization, Opportunity Fund, is co-sponsoring California’s first ever microfinance summit. The sold-out conference takes place on Thursday, May 28 at Stanford University. Participants — both those who want to lend a helping hand through investing in new entrepreneurs, and those who have their own great ideas for starting small businesses –- will learn about the power and potential of microfinance.
The conference webcast will be available live at 9:00 am PST, when Premal Shah, Founder of Kiva.org will join John Stumpf, Wells Fargo’s CEO for the opening keynote: microfinancecalifornia.org/webcast/.
Looks like these are at least some of the topics to be addressed by the conference: