Microfinance in Asia: What Lies in Store
An Evening Panel Discussion with MATTHEW GAMSER, IFC, STANLEY KWOK, ACCION Microcredit Company and JENNIFER MEEHAN, Grameen Foundation
Asia has the highest level of microfinance activity in the world with around 49 million borrowers, totaling more than 11 billion U.S. dollars worth of loans. As the industry matures and expands, is the practice being implemented in the most effective way? How can lenders and governments ensure micro-loans lead to lasting change not just for borrowers, but for their families and communities? Has it served as a tool for social transformation? What are some of the innovative business models and what are the new frontiers? What lessons have been learned in order to maximize its impact?
Matthew Gamser, Principal, Advisory Services, East Asia-Pacific Region, IFC
IFC is the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group and is a large investor in world microfinance institutions. It has played a leading role in the commercialization of the microfinance industry. Gamser leads their advisory work in increasing access to financial services in the East Asia-Pacific region. He is experienced in international enterprise development, local economic development and finance. Gamser graduated from Harvard University and received his D.Phil from Sussex University, UK.
Stanley Kwok, Chief Executive Officer, ACCION Microcredit Company
ACCION International is a leading global non-profit microfinance company. ACCION Microcredit Company, based in Inner Mongolia, is their first China project. Stanley Kwok trains microfinance loan officers, manages strategic relationship development and fundraising. A global banking, finance and investment executive, Kwok graduated from Earlham College, Indiana and the Graduate School of Business, University of Detroit, Michigan.
Jennifer Meehan, Chief Executive Officer, Asia Region, Grameen Foundation
Inspired by the work of Professor Mohammed Yunus and the Grameen Bank, the Grameen Foundation puts microfinance and technology directly into the hands of the world's poorest people. Jennifer Meehan oversees development and strategic planning at the Grameen Foundation. She began her career in the banking industry and made the transition to microfinance more than 12 years ago, working with microfinance institutions across the region. Meehan graduated from George Washington University.
Moderated by Brett Rierson, World Food Programme Senior Officer, Private Partnership Division & Lead, Global Finance Initiative