Doing the Right Thing: “Smart Microfinance” and the Donor’s Role

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 -
8:15am to 10:30am EDT
Philanthropy New York, 79 Fifth Ave., 4th floor, NYC
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Microfinance has revolutionized international economic development and emerged as one of the most promising tools for providing access to credit and other financial services for the poor. Aggressive commercialization and rapid growth, however, have led to a crisis in the industry. As a few institutions prioritized profit maximization at the cost of basic customer service, client over-indebtedness increased. This, coupled with a lack of price transparency, led to a political backlash that left some questioning the overall benefits of microfinance.
Yet, at the same time, this crisis has spurred the industry to embrace client-centric practices and to move toward the adoption of the client protection principles advocated by the Smart Campaign and the related Client Protection Certification Program. By putting the client first, “smart microfinance” can be the model for responsible microfinance banking around the world.
Join us as a panel of funders and practitioners discuss the problems, solutions, and future of the microfinance industry.


  • New tools and approaches that help to promote a client-centered focus.
  • New responsibilities for funders.
  • New opportunities for partnerships.



Designed for

All interested funders.