Georgetown Hosts Conference Commemorating International Year of Microcredit
Washington, D.C. – In honor of the United Nations’ International Year of Microcredit, Georgetown University hosts a half-day conference exploring the future, challenges and innovations in microfinance. A joint effort between students of the McDonough School of Business, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and Georgetown Public Policy Institute, the conference aims to connect students and policymakers in an educational forum about the field of microfinance. Events begin at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday April 19, 2005 in Georgetown's ICC Auditorium.
“This is an excellent opportunity for students in various disciplines to come together and learn about an issue of global importance,” said Reena Aggarwal, interim dean of the McDonough School of Business. “I am pleased that Georgetown is able to host this event and look forward to the ideas and discussions that come from this forum.”
The UN's International Year of Microcredit aims to build support for making financial services more accessible to poor and low-income people by raising public awareness about microcredit and microfinance, and promoting innovative partnerships among donors, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, academia and microfinance clients.
“Microfinance is an innovative, dynamic, up and coming financial sector business concern. For this reason, students and young professionals are a driving force behind a groundswell of international action for the Year of Microcredit,” said Christina Barrineau, Chief Technical Advisor for the Year at the UN Development Programme. “The energy and newness of thinking that young people, like those at Georgetown, bring to tackling the hurdles that stand in the way of poor people receiving quality financial services, can and is changing the world.”
The conference begins with opening remarks by Elizabeth Littlefield, CEO of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP). Littlefield will discuss the agreements between organizations focusing on poverty alleviation and those that focus on profit making opportunities, as well as the inevitable trends in microfinance being provided by a range of financial institutions from banks to non-governmental organizations.
Additional panel discussions will focus on challenges to the development of microfinance including regulation, infrastructure, corruption, perception, lack of information, landscape and evaluation, as well as innovations in the field of microfinance, such as recent technological advances, strategic alliances, and the development of new services and products.
The conference will conclude with remarks from Her Royal Highness, Princess Mathilde of Belgium, Emissary to the International Year of Microcredit. Other featured speakers include representatives from The Economist, Warburg Pincus, the World Bank, Citigroup, the U.S. Department of Treasury, Grameen Foundation, Compartamos, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and Georgetown University.
The event is sponsored by Georgetown's McDonough School of Business, Net Impact, the Microenterprise Development Association and the United Nations Capital Development Fund.
About Georgetown University
Georgetown University is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in America, founded in 1789 by Archbishop John Carroll. Georgetown today is a major student-centered, international, research university offering respected undergraduate, graduate and professional programs on its three campuses. For more information about Georgetown University, visit www.georgetown.edu.