As Oikocredit gears up for our upcoming event in Washington, DC this Friday, I find myself getting really excited. My anticipation has been mounting for a while, and not just because it’s going to be a great party (and everyone loves a party!). Considering all the press surrounding microfinance lately, I’m particularly looking forward to this Awareness Party as an opportunity to engage in discussion at a much-needed time.
At Friday’s event, we will discuss microfinance through the lens of Oikocredit, Social Performance, and Green Innovation. Oikocredit USA’s Executive Director Terry Provance will present alongside Sharlene Brown of Grameen Foundation and Allison Archambault of EarthSpark International. Our goal is to raise awareness of the inspiring developments which Oikocredit, Grameen Foundation, and Earthspark International have achieved.
Ever since I was introduced to microfinance in college I have been inspired by it.
Small loans to very poor people have proven to be one of the most successful means of alleviating poverty in the world. These loans facilitate new opportunities for the borrowers, such as business expansion, improved healthcare, and education. I think these facts have been overshadowed by current events in microfinance. (See Muhammad Yunus’ piece in the New York Times.) The debate about microfinance is ongoing and critics offer important insight into an ever-changing field. Still, the industry continues to improve lives and empower a large segment of the world’s poor, and we should not lose sight of this. Microfinance is also proving to be a hugely successful tool in post conflict regions like Haiti.
I, of course, am not quite as well-versed on the subject as our three esteemed guest speakers, and so I encourage everyone – from the slightly intrigued to the very much involved – to come and learn more. I promise it will be worth your time.
Please join us for drinks, discussion at 6pm on Friday, January 21, 2011 at One Lounge.If you would like to RSVP to Friday’s event, click HERE. We hope to see you there!