Wednesday, May 14, 2014

San Diego Microfinance Summit Recap

The 6th annual San Diego Microfinance Summit was held on April 8th at the University of San Diego and featured a great lineup of industry expert speakers, along with a variety of unique microfinance clients who provided food and goods for the lunch time client marketplace. 

Keynote speaker Larry Reed, from the Microcredit Summit Campaign, kicked off the event with tales of his experience with microfinance abroad and an inspiring call to action. The morning panel session featured three organizations in the microfinance industry. Leaders from GiveDirectly, Kiva and Puddle talked about peer-to-peer financing, the critical role technology plays in and using it to reach people in all corners of the world.

Following the morning sessions lunch was served, featuring a sampling of dishes from different microfinance clients serving Mexican, Italian and East African foods. A client marketplace with over a dozen various microfinance client vendors featured everything from jewelry to loose-leaf tea.

The afternoon sessions began with a focus on local micro lending and returning to traditional ways of saving and sharing. The microlending session included panelists from local lenders, including Foundation for Women, IRC, Accion San Diego and CDC, while the saving and sharing session featured panelists from Women’s Empowerment International, San Diego Microfinance Puddle, Microloans for Mothers and Puddle.

At the closing Keynote, Larry Reed and Chris Crane chatted about microfinance and education. Edify, founded by Crane, builds schools around the world and gives people access to education that previously never had the opportunity. This inspirational session gave participants a glimpse of how innovations in microfinance are granting access to educational opportunities for the poor.

For more information about the Summit visit the San Diego Microfinance Alliance.

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