Microfinance and Social Entrepreneurship

Thursday, February 21 – 7:00 p.m.Microfinance Poster
Stern Center, Great Room

Hans Dellien, Women’s World Banking
Camilla Nestor, The Grameen Foundation
Benjamin Powell, Agora Partnerships
Craig Weeks ’77, J. P. Morgan Chase (moderator)

Microfinance, the provision of small-scale loans to enterprising individuals in developing countries came into being in the latter half of the 1900s. Two organizations currently involved in channeling those types of financial resources are the Grameen Foundation and Women’s World Banking. Social entrepreneurship, represented by Agora Partnerships, developed somewhat later. Over the past two decades, the revolution in information technology and competition in the “development space” have led to much change in both microfinance and social entrepreneurship.

Careers in Microfinance and Social Entrepreneurship

HUB, Social Hall West – 3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Students are encouraged to attend. To register, visit www.dickinsonconnect.com.

Issue in Context
Microfinance consists of extending financial services to individuals, usually women, to establish or expand a small, self-sustaining business. One of the components of microfinance is microcredit – the extension of small loans to individuals who are too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. Microfinance institutions often offer business advice and counseling, and facilitate peer support between clients in order to facilitate the transition out of poverty.
Microfinance specifically targets women. Studies have shown that women are more likely to reinvest their earnings in the business and in their families. This process has helped elevate the status of women, given people employment, and formed economically successful communities. Microfinance is considered one of the most effective and flexible strategies in the fight against global poverty. It is sustainable and can be implemented on the massive scale necessary to respond to the urgent needs of the worlds poorest.
The idea for microfinance began in 1976 by Professor Muhammed Yunus. Mr. Yunus loaned the equivalent of $27 from his own pocket to forty-two stoolmakers living in a tiny village in Bangladesh. These individuals simply needed enough credit to purchase the raw material for their trade. Yunus’s loan allowed them to break out of the cycle of poverty. The Grameen Bank was formally established in 1983 and has since lifted millions of people in developing countries out of poverty. Mr. Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work in micro-credit and helping economic and social development.
Yunus is a typical example of a social entrepreneur. Social entrepreneurship is the use of entrepreneurial principles to organize, create and manage a venture to create social changes. Social entrepreneurs asses the success of their business in terms of the impact they have on society.

About the Speakers
Mr. Dellien is the senior manager of Microfinance Products and Services at Women’s World Banking. His team has extended rural loans, housing loans and savings to low income entrepreneurs around the world: in Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Gambia), Asia (Philippines, India, Pakistan), Jordan and Latin America (Colombia, Mexico, Bolivia, Brazil). Currently, Mr. Dellien works giving strategic advice to commercial banks interested in extending financial services to micro-entrepreneurs in India and Mexico. Before joining WWB in 1998, Mr. Dellien work for the International Project Consultants (IPC) a German consulting firm with twenty-five specialized banks in microfinance. Mr. Dellien has a master degree in Agricultural Economics and Rural Finance from the Ohio State University.
Camille Nestor is the director of the Capital Management & Advisory Center at the Grameen Foundation. Mrs. Nestor has worked in microfinance for the past twelve years, and has been working with the Grameen Foundation since August 2005. Before joining Grameen, she was an associate in Citigroup’s Structured Corporate Finance Department. There, she helped with debt relief in emerging firms in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She also spent five years working with microfinance institutions while based in Southeast Asia and the Balkans with Catholic Relief Services. Mrs. Nestor holds an MBA and a master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.
Ben Powell is the co-founder and managing partner of Agora Partnerships, a social enterprise dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship in developing countries. Ben is also a director of the Agora Venture Fund, a fund that invests in small businesses in Nicaragua. Mr. Powell co-founded CityGolf:Puebla, a family entertainment park in Mexico. Ever since, he has worked to harness the power of small business to transform poor communities. Mr. Powell has been an examiner in the International Affairs Division of the White House Office of Management and Budget, and has worked at Ashoka on its Full Economic Citizenship initiative. He has an MBA from Columbia Business School, an MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a BA from Haverford College. Mr. Powell is a frequent speaker on social entrepreneurship and was awarded the I-Qube award for innovation from Dalberg Global Advisors.
Craig Weeks is senior vice president in the Treasury Services Division in J.P.Morgan in New York. He is currently responsible for Global Trade Finance and Logistics Sales. His previous work experience includes Continental Grain Company where he served as assistant treasurer in New York and director of Trade Finance in Geneva, Switzerland. Mr. Weeks began his banking career at Marine Midland Bank in New York where he served as vice president of Correspondent Banking covering parts of Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. Mr. Weeks has a master’s degree in International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management in Glendale, Az., and a bachelor of arts degree from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA. He also studied at La Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, in Mendellin, Colombia.

Related Links

Grameen Bank: http://www.grameen-info.org/
Grameen Foundation: http://www.grameenfoundation.org/
Agora Partnerships: http://www.agorapartnerships.org/
Women’s World Banking: http://www.swwb.org/