2011 Toronto Microfinance Conference & Gala - moving out of poverty ...the micro way Woman borrowing funds for her business

I met a woman who borrowed $4. She had never seen $4 in her life. She bought a comb, a pair of scissors and a mirror and she put her husband in business as a barber. Now she has a home and her children are in school. All because of $4.

Foundation for Women

Speakers – Conference

Vice-President & 2011 Conference Chair, TIMS

Jim LouttitJim Louttit became a Rotarian in early 2005 as a founding member and Second Vice-President of the Rotary Club of Lima Sunrise in District 4450.  He left Peru in 2007 to return to Canada and joined Toronto Sunrise in District 7070.  He is a Past President of the Club.

Jim is also active at the District 7070 level currently serving as Chair of the Microfinance Committee and a member of their Long Range Planning Committee.

Recently, Jim started his own microfinance consulting business after retiring from the Bank of Nova Scotia where he was the Vice-President and Deputy Head for Latin America in their International Banking Division. Prior to this role, he was the Bank’s Country Head in Peru for four years and has also worked in El Salvador heading the Bank’s Retail Banking Division.

Education for Jim includes the Professional Banking Program and he is a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers.  He majored in Marketing while attending Fanshawe College and while at Queen’s University completed their Executive Program and Sales Management Program.  He also attended Dalhousie University partially completing his MBA studies.

Jim is also active in several other organizations serving as Vice-President of the Peruvian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Board of The Hearing Foundation of Canada as well as serving as the Vice-Chair of the Finance Committee.

“Microfinance is the place where business and international development objectives intersect and social impact is achieved.  For the second year, the MasterCard Foundation is partnering with us so more students can learn about this powerful poverty reduction tool, interact with experts, and get involved.” Go to the web-site and get fruit mania slot. Rush approximately go you need to winning.

Global Director, Citi Microfinance and Community Development

Bob AnniblaeBob Annibale leads Citi’s commercial relationships with microfinance institutions, networks and investors working across businesses and geographies to expand access to financial services in underserved communities.  He manages Citi’s partnerships with global, national and local organizations to support community development programs focused on responsible finance through financial capability and asset building; neighborhood preservation and revitalization; access to college education; and small business and microenterprise development

Since joining Citi in 1982, Bob has held a number of senior treasury, risk and corporate positions in Athens, Bahrain, Kenya, London and New York. He has served on many external boards and councils, including the Board of Advisors for the United Nations Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor. He currently is a member of the Advisory Council of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London and the Policy Committee of the Centre for the Study of African Economies at the University of Oxford. He represents Citi on the Board of the Microfinance Information Exchange, the Council of Microfinance Equity Funds, Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), the Microfinance Network and the Executive Committee of CGAP (World Bank).

Bob completed his BA degrees in History and Political Science at Vassar College, in New York, and his Masters Degree in African Studies (History) at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies.


National Director of Philanthropy, Opportunity International Canada

Jannalee Anderson

Jannalee Anderson is a graduate of both the H.B.A. and the M.B.A. programs at the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, for which she afterwards became both an instructor and an international recruiter. She also taught at Tong Ji University in Shanghai and worked as a Forecasting and Pricing Analyst at McCormick Canada.

Subsequently, as an Assistant Professor of Business at Tyndale University College, Jannalee developed a Micro-enterprise Development course and field research trip to Central America and co-founded the International Development degree program. As a result of her growing passion and involvement with microfinance, Jannalee accepted a position in Corporate Philanthropy with Opportunity International Canada. Currently as National Director of Philanthropy, Jannalee seeks to build partnerships with Canadian businesses and foundations that want to expand entrepreneurial opportunities for people living in poverty.

Having visited more than twenty countries in the developing world, Jannalee has witnessed the need for transformational microfinance first-hand. “I have not discovered anything more effective than micro- finance in breaking the cycle of poverty.” says Anderson. “Opportunity is a story of hope, dignity, stewardship, and sustainable development.”


Founder, Friends of Kurdistan Foundation

Amy M. Ball

“To everything there is a season, time for every purpose under the sun.” This is not only the mantra for the organization but the explanation behind the motivation for Ms. Ball to alter the course of her career and take a leap of faith in Iraq.  Her strong belief that you must grasp every opportunity afforded to you in life has served her well throughout her years in politics and the hospitality industry and has now brought her full circle into the realm of humanitarian aid.

Ms. Ball served as Communications Officer in the Office of Ontario’s Premier during some of the most tumultuous times in the Province’s history.  This was a time of contentious domestic policies and international tragedies such as the privatization of the electricity market, outbreaks of Mad Cow disease, and the sudden onslaught of SARS.  These situations not only shaped the way in which Ms. Ball viewed and dealt with crisis communication but reinforced the reality of living in our new global village. It was a Queen’s Park colleague that first offered her the opportunity to visit Kurdistan, Iraq and she has never looked back.  During her many meetings with Ministers from the Kurdistan Regional Government, Ms. Ball became frustrated with the lack of support from Canada for this fledgling democracy in the Middle East. She continues to raise awareness in Canada of the current situation in Kurdistan in the hopes of building political and entrepreneurial bridges with the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Ms. Ball started her own Public Relations & Communications company “OutFront Public Relations” after the demise of the Eves government.  She became a vocal proponent of and advocate for the Niagara business community, and is noted for her contribution to the build406now.com campaign and the lobby for transportation infrastructure and development across Ontario.  She has served as Vice President of the Thorold Chamber of Commerce, Team Ontario member with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and as a Director on the Board of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra. Never one to stray too far from her political roots, Ms. Ball hosted a cable television show One Voice.  The panel format of the program focused on regional, provincial and national issues with local political, community and business leaders.  She is regularly interviewed in the media on matters relating to business, communication strategies, and legislation developed at all three levels of government.  Ms. Ball holds a Degree in Political Science, from Brock University.

Enterprise and Economic Development Program Advisor, CARE Canada

Maria Teresa BayombongTess is an experienced international development professional with over 25 years of strategic and operational practice in both management and technical capacities.  Since 1994, she has held various senior management positions in CARE, from Senior Program Manager and Sector Coordinator to Assistant Country Director and most recently, Country Director.  She has led teams in program strategy development and implementation as well as demonstrated her capacities in areas of project design and planning, program management, and financial and human resource management.

Tess has over 20 years of solid experience in the enterprise and economic development and microfinance sectors, including microfinance delivery, market linkages, appropriate technology development and application, cooperative and social enterprise development.  In addition, Tess has experience working in the private sector, and as an officer in a venture capital program.  She has played important roles in the development of microfinance institutions such as the SeedFinance in Philippines, PFSL in Zambia and BISMA in Indonesia. Tess holds a degree in BS Chemical Engineering and MS in Management Engineering.

Regional Research Specialist – Africa

Charles Belanger

Charles Belanger works at Finca International in the region of Africa, where he supports research for product development at the regional level, marketing analysis, and customer research. Charles previously had the same position with FINCA in the Latin American region. His previous microfinance experiences include working as a microfinance volunteer with a Microfinance Institution in Benin, where he lived with a microfinance provided household for 4 months and, working on the design of multilaterally funded microfinance projects with CIDA in Peru. Charles has published a few papers about microfinance, and has presented at several Microfinance Conferences, including the Microfinance conference of Chicago and the Microfinance Conference of Toronto in 2010. Charles holds a Masters degree in Political Economy of International Development from the University of Toronto.

Program Manager, Aga Khan Foundation Canada

Michael Bowles

Mike joined the Aga Khan Foundation Canada in January 2009 and is currently a Program Manager for Central Asia and Egypt and a global lead in market development and access to finance.  Since 2009, Mike has managed a Community Based Savings Group (CBSG) program in Tajikistan, the first of several CBSG programs by the Aga Khan Foundation globally and the topic of his presentation at this conference.

Mike’s interest in development grew from an assignment with the American Field Service in northeast Thailand in 1997. As part of his graduate research at the University of Guelph, Mike worked on a Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute project, studying how the liberalized agricultural extension system in Madhya Pradesh, India, was affecting the livelihoods of soybean producers.

Mike joined the Aga Khan Development Network in 2005 as a microfinance fellow in Tajikistan, helping develop a community-owned microfinance model that has since expanded and been replicated throughout the country. From 2006 to 2009, Mike worked with the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme in Tajikistan as the Manager of Policy, Evaluation and Planning, advising on the implementation of projects in enterprise and market development, access to finance, natural resource management and local governance.

Program Manager, Sri Lanka and Microfinance, Canadian Co-operative Association

Derek Cameron 2011

Derek Cameron is CCA’s Program Manager for Microfinance and Sri Lanka. He has extensive experience with program design/review, institutional evaluation and country assessments. He has over 10 years of experience in community based models and 7 years in microfinance project management/research in India, Cambodia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Uganda, and Malawi.

The Canadian Co-operative Association is a national, member based organization representing 2,000 co-operatives, and an international development agency currently active in 20 countries. Since 1970, CCA has channelled Canadian human, financial and technical resources to assist co-operatives in over 40 countries in Africa, Asia and the America to reduce poverty, working with co-operatives from all sectors as well as community based organizations and technical resource institutions.  CCA takes an integrated and holistic approach to development, while focusing on local institutional strengthening and skills training to increase co-op reach and member impact. It links the Canadian co-operative sector with emerging co-op movements around the world for mutual learning and support.

Vice-President Rotarian Action Group for Microcredit

Gord Crann

Gord Crann is Vice-President of the Rotarian Action Group for Microcredit (RAGM) after serving as RAGM Secretary from March 2010 to June 2011. From 2008 to June 2011, Gord chaired the Rotary District 7070 Microfinance Committee, co-chaired the 2009 Toronto Microfinance Conference and co-chaired the 2010 Toronto Microfinance Gala. He is now Past President of the Toronto International Microfinance Summit.

Gord gave the keynote address on “The Importance of Microfinance in the Developing World” at the Canadian Rotary Collaboration for International Development’s 2011 Tribute Dinner. He has made microfinance presentations at the 2010 Uniendo America Rotary Project Fair and the 2011 Victoria Microcredit Conference.

A lawyer by profession, Gord is the principal of Crann Law Firm specializing in providing legal services to non-profit affordable ownership housing developments using a revolving home ownership fund. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Gord was a City Councillor in East York (now City of Toronto) and a political columnist with the Toronto Star. He has served on numerous non-profit and charity boards over many years, including being President of Environmental Defence in Canada.

Gord completed his BA degree in Geography and his MA degree in Public Administration both at the University of Toronto, and his LL.B. degree from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

Founder and CEO of The Townships Project

Martha Deacon

Martha is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Townships Project, which she created in late 1998 in response to then President Nelson Mandela’s challenge to do something about the poverty in his country.  For the past 13 years, The Townships Project has worked with local microfinance organizations in South Africa to extend small loans to individuals in groups to start or expand tiny businesses, always exploring how to make these loans more effective in the fight against poverty.  As a result, The Townships Project held the first ever MicroFranchising Launch:  Trade Show and Workshops from 31 August – 2 September 2011 in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa in partnership with University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business and Standard Bank.  It brought together local community leaders, microfinance institutions, corporate social investment professionals, microfranchisors and cellphone software developers to work together to leverage their mutual skills, connections, knowledge and investment to create a job creation engine at the bottom of the economic pyramid.  Prior to starting The Townships Project, Martha founded and ran P1 Parking Systems Inc. in Vancouver which was purchased by Impark in 1998.  From 1986 – 1994, she was founding Vice-President Corporate Finance and a Director of Deacon BZW Canada Limited, partly owned by Barclays.  Before that, Martha was a corporate solicitor with the Toronto law firm of Fraser & Beatty (now Fraser Milner Casgrain) and with Blake Dawson Waldron of Sydney, Australia.

Founder, Oliberté Footwear

Tal Dehtia

Tal Dehtiar, 30, is a recipient of the Ontario Global Trader Award, Arch Award, was nominated for the YMCA Peace Award and nominated for Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 and Ernst & Young’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2007, he was named one of the International Youth Foundation’s Young Social Entrepreneurs. Tal received his MBA from McMaster University and has a BA from the University of Western Ontario and Nanyang University in Singapore.

Most recently, Tal has founded Oliberté Footwear, the first premium footwear company to make its product in Africa. Over the past 2 years, Oliberté has grown rapidly under Tal’s leadership and his brand can be seen across North America, Europe and Asia. For his professional work, Tal has been featured regularly on CNN, CBC, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Marie Claire, The Toronto Star, MacLean’s Magazine, Canadian Business Newsmagazine, Business 2.0, TVO, City TV and Global National. Mr. Dehtiar is a regular speaker across the globe including Rotary International, University of Toronto, McGill University, Richard Ivey School of Business, McMaster University, University of Michigan, Stanford University, Wharton University, Oxford University, HEC Paris and IESE Barcelona.

Tal has worked on numerous international projects, including co-founding and launching MBAs Without Borders, an international charity that has engaged hundreds of business professionals from around the world to volunteer and help build small and social businesses in over 25 developing countries including Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Pakistan, Nicaragua and others. Born in Ramat Gan, Israel with family roots in Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Latvia and Russia, Tal has traveled, worked, studied and lived in over 50 countries and speaks English, Russian, Hebrew and Spanish. In addition to his passion for travel, he is a competitive swimmer, plays hockey and competes in triathlons during the summer. Tal currently lives in Oakville, Ontario with his wife Kathy, a midwife, and on July 1st welcomed their first baby boy, Owen Alexander.

Director, Rise Asset Development
Rotman/CAMH Financial Initiative

Narinder Dhami

Narinder Dhami manages the operations of Rise – a partnership between the Rotman School of Management and the Center for Mental Health and Addictions (CAMH) which provides microfinancing and mentorship to individuals living with mental illness and addictions. Prior to joining Rise, she helped incubate the project as an Associate within the Michael Lee-Chin Institute of Corporate Citizenship at the Rotman School of Management. Narinder received a Master of Business Administration from the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto in Electrical Engineering. Following the completion of her MBA, she spent two years in Sub-Saharan Africa working at the Premiere Agence de Microfinance in Burkina Faso, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire, while collaborating with colleagues in Switzerland and Pakistan. Narinder currently co-chairs Toronto for Acumen – an official chapter of the Acumen Fund.

Founder & CEO, ZOË Alliance Inc.

Angie Draskovic

Angie Draskovic is an accomplished executive, whose experience comprises a unique blend of 24 years of business and non-profit leadership in corporate and entrepreneurial settings. As a senior executive with Lucent Technologies and Zhone Technologies, among others, Angie has established footholds for start-up businesses in competitive markets, implemented new business models for established businesses and led teams to achieve unprecedented sales results of over US$700 million.  Applying her entrepreneurial skill set and strategic perspectives, Angie has helped grow donation revenues for the non-profit sector over the past six years, including a large hospital charity as well as establishing a new foundation which led to over $1.2 million in donations for its beneficiary charity during its first year.

Angie’s experience in both careers fostered an ability to grasp leadership and financial challenges of both business and charitable organizations. This formed the foundation for the vision and birth of ZOË Alliance, a global alliance that harnesses market forces to help developing nations grow their economies and alleviate poverty. Angie participates as a board member and advisor for several charitable organizations. She is part of a growing global community working toward sustainable enterprise development and actively collaborates with colleagues in Social Enterprise, Microfinance, and International Development organizations.

Founder and President, NewbieKnees

Joanna EatonJoanna Eaton is the Founder and President of NewbieKnees, a children’s’ apparel company. The goal of NewbieKnees is to provide comfort and style to little ones as they explore their new worlds – and that is precisely what she has been doing! Joanna’s love and devotion to enabling children was inspired by her own.  Her first daughter arrived when she was completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Technology. She spent a few years in the technology sector as a Service Coordinator, before deciding to start her own business venture and pursue her dream of creating NewbieKnees. Joanna was then accepted into a six month entrepreneurship course through MicroSkills in 2010, and has been developing and operating NewbieKnees ever since. During this time she has also worked regularly in freelance positions, giving her first-hand exposure and experience within the trade show industry developing her understanding of commerce, marketing and business. Remarkably, she has accomplished all this while being the primary care giver of her two young daughters.

Joanna would like to recognize her daughters Isabella and Madeline for providing her inspiration and fun, Jeremy for everything, and the many others who have supported and encouraged her every step along the way.

Joanna is a client of ACCESS Community Capital Fund.

Development Manager, FINCA Canada

Stephanie Emond

Stéphanie Émond will present some of FINCA’s branchless banking initiatives in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico and Ecuador, and discuss FINCA’s plan for the future, to continually deepen and expand its outreach to marginalized populations.  She has over 10 years of experience in the private, public and volunteer sectors, in Canada and internationally.

Stéphanie Émond, Development Manager, spearheads FINCA’s activities in Canada. Prior to joining FINCA, she worked as a management consultant with Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, and as an analyst in the Economic Development team of CIDA’s Policy Branch, which led her to participate in the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)’s Social Performance Task Force. Prior to CIDA, she worked as a communications officer for FINCA Peru. Stéphanie sits on the Board of Directors of Robin des Bois and Ecomaris, two not-for-profit organizations based in Montreal, is a founding member of Women Advancing Microfinance (WAM) Canada and of the Montreal Microfinance Club. She holds a MBA from HEC Montreal and participated in many training programs given by CGAP, UNITAR, and the Boulder Microfinance Institute..

FINCA is a leading microfinance network, working in 21 countries worldwide and reaching over 815,000 clients with financial services, including credit, savings, remittances and insurance. Expansion into underserved communities and rural markets is a key priority for FINCA, for which branchless banking – the use of front-end technologies and alternative distribution channels – forms a key part, enabling FINCA to increase its service points with a lower-cost infrastructure, increase efficiency and security, and improved client servicing.

Chief Risk Officer, Opportunity International

Lynn Exton

Lynn Exton is the Chief Risk Officer for Opportunity International. In this role, she manages Opportunity International’s risk profile and related policies and practices aimed at supporting Opportunity’s growth in a prudent manner and in keeping with good stewardship. The role of the risk officer is integral to Opportunity’s efforts to impact millions of hard working entrepreneurs, at minimal credit, operational, market and reputational loss to the organization.

Ms. Exton has been involved with the SEEP’s Financial Services Working Group since 2009 and during 2010, served as the Facilitator for the FSWG.  Lynn was elected to the SEEP Network’s Board of Directors in November 2010.

Ms. Exton is an experienced banker having worked for more than two decades in commercial banking and financial institutions analysis with particular expertise in the areas of financial institutions, fixed income research and risk management. Before joining Opportunity International in April 2008, she worked with Moody’s Investors Service, Merrill Lynch and Chase Manhattan Bank. During her career she has been based in London, Hong Kong, New York and Rio de Janeiro. Most recently, Ms. Exton served as a Senior Vice President in Moody’s London office as the Regional Credit Officer for banks in Africa, Europe and the Middle East (EMEA).

Lynn is a graduate of Wellesley College (BA), SAIS-Johns Hopkins University (MA) and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Science Po). Lynn is fluent in French and Portuguese and proficient in Spanish.  She currently resides in Calgary, Canada.

President and Owner, Common Ground Solutions, LLC

Marilyn Fitzgerald

Throughout her life Marilyn has been deeply invested in international humanitarian work, both as a consultant and a professional volunteer. In her world travel she worked with projects that were wonderfully successful, and others that were heartbreakingly ineffective. Her passion is to help define a path that will empower others to become self-sustaining; this will allow future generations to benefit from the effort and resources put forth today. She is consulting with organizations that have the desire to achieve sustainable outcomes in humanitarian aid projects. She believes that this is best accomplished by providing the opportunity for all primary stakeholders to have their voices heard through the process of integrative negotiation.

Marilyn’s professional career includes 17 years as a M.A. Clinical Psychologist; she then returned to the classroom to obtain a M.B.A. and founded a consulting group specializing in organizational development providing training and seminars in leadership skills, communication and organizational dispute resolution. She has taught numerous courses in American and international M.B.A. programs. Marilyn then again revisited the traditional academic setting to achieve a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. She is currently president and founder of the consulting firm, Common Ground Solutions, LLC. This company provides project design, planning, implementation and evaluation to organizations seeking to attain sustainable outcomes.

FINCA Canada

Jacquie GreenJacquie Green of FINCA Canada will explain how Village Banks are formed and how members run these democratic organizations: electing their leaders, designing their bylaws, keeping the books and managing the funds. Village Banking is a solidarity lending methodology that was pioneered by FINCA to enable very poor entrepreneurs who have no collateral to obtain the working capital they need to invest in their small businesses. Much more than just a way to access credit, Village Banking is a community-system that also provides to its members a means of accumulating savings and encourages mutual support and personal empowerment

Jacquie Green is a Toronto based teacher and visual artist who is also a founding member of FINCA Canada’s Board of Directors. She holds a Master’s in Education and is an Associate of the Ontario College of Art and Design. She is a member of WAM Canada and has served as Board Chair of Bellwoods Centers For Community Living and Director of the Sans Souci and Copperhead Association.

Project Leader, Youth and Financial Services, MEDA

Jennifer Gurbin Harley

Jennifer Gurbin Harley has managed product development processes with partner financial institutions in Nepal and Morocco and undertaken market research initiatives in both West Bank / Gaza and Pakistan.  She also facilitates the working group for youth and financial services with the SEEP Network in North America.  From 2007-2008 she undertook a one-year research study to analyze the marketing strategies of four non-governmental organizations in Canada. She has five years of experience in market research, proposal development, drafting and editing technical documents, and delivering short-term consulting services. She holds a masters degree in International Development from the University of Ottawa.


OikoCredit Canada (Central)

Edgar Hielema

Edgar is a lawyer and partner with Gardiner Roberts LLP in Toronto.  He has developed a broad corporate/commercial practice and also specializes in Non-Profit and Charitable Organization as well as Financial Services.

Edgar is Chairman of Oikocredit Canada (Central).   Oikocredit is one of the world’s largest sources of private funding to the microfinance sector.  Oikocredit provides credit to trade cooperatives, fair trade organizations and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in the developing world.  Oikocredit Canada has grown into a strong network of ethical investors that is well connected with other social investment organizations and led by a dedicated board of professional directors.


Assistant Professor of International Business
Ambrose University College, Calgary

Jeff Huebner

Jeff Huebner is actively involved in developing new programs in business and economic development, including an innovative course in microfinance that allows students to develop business skills while building partnerships with MFIs in the field.  Jeff holds an MBA in International Business and has worked for over a decade as a consultant in strategic planning, marketing and organizational development for corporate and non-profit clients.




Project Coordinator – Accelerated Access
PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise

Stacia KeanWith a background in social work (BSW) and business (MBA), Stacia Kean works to ensure women and youth’s full economic and social participation in our communities through initiatives such peer lending, micro and community enterprise. Stacia’s time and passion is largely dedicated to her work with the PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise where she acts as project coordinator for Accelerated Access, a community enterprise that consults with non-profit groups from across the country to initiate and sustain their own micro-lending and CED projects.

In her volunteer work, Stacia is a past Board member of the Canadian Committee for the United Nations Development Fund for Women, and currently co-chair of the Canadian CED Network’s (CCEDNet) Emerging Leaders committee where she represents the voice of youth on the organization’s Board of Directors.

Development Manager
ACCESS Community Capital Fund

Alex KjorvenAlex Kjorven is currently the Development Manager for ACCESS Community Capital Fund (ACCF). Formerly a 100% volunteer run organization, Alex was brought onboard to lead the initiative in developing and expanding the community-based lending model to various neighbourhoods in the GTA.

She is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Finance and Economics. Her previous roles include Manager, Partner Programs at MaRS Discovery District; a business incubation centre where she was responsible for developing the financial organization and management of MaRS’ various externally funded projects. These include programs in Social Innovation as well as Business Mentorship and Entrepreneurship. Her experiences working in the private sector include Senior Associate for KPMG LLP, an international professional services firm for both the Audit as well as Transaction Advisory practices. There she worked on deal teams performing due diligence on mergers and acquisitions transactions as well as audit and internal control evaluations of public companies.

She is the founder of Beyond Business at the University of Toronto, which focused on helping business students lend their talents to benefit the broader community through volunteer activities, fundraisers, and partnerships.

Alex has spent time teaching accounting and economics in Ghana, West Africa and presents regularly on the topic of urban micro lending with community organizations and most recently on the topic of impact investing at the Canadian Responsible Investment Conference.

Program Officer, Financial Services for the Poor
Global Development Program
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Joyce Lehman

Joyce Lehman joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in January 2008 as a Program Officer for Microfinance within the foundation’s Financial Services for the Poor initiative. She began work in international economic development in 1998 providing training and consulting services to microfinance institutions in more than 25 countries and served as a faculty member in leading Microfinance Training Institutes held in the US, Europe and South Africa. From 2003 through 2007, Joyce spent most of her time in Afghanistan working with the World Bank, USAID and other bi-lateral donors to help establish and support a microfinance sector in a post-conflict environment. Prior to her international work, Joyce was in private practice as a Certified Public Accountant and taught university level business courses. She is Past President of the Keene Elm City Rotary Club in Keene, New Hampshire.

Vice-President and Chief Investment Officer, Sarona Asset Management Inc.

Serge LeVert-ChiassonSerge has over ten years of experience in the field of finance in private banking, international commercial lending, international accounts receivable insurance and international investment management. Serge also holds a Masters in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics, is a CFA charterholder and has completed an International MBA at York University’s Schulich School of Business. He was the founding chair of Agro Capital Management in Ukraine and is the ex-officio treasurer on the board of the Working Skills Centre. Serge is fluent in French and English with advanced skills in Spanish.

Sarona is an Impact Investment Asset Manager, providing impact investment solutions for private investors and targeting market financial returns in frontier markets.  Using progressive strategies the investments support communities and the environment.

Founder and CEO, Foundation for Women, La Jolla, California

Deborah Lindholm

Deborah Lindholm is the Founder/CEO of the Foundation for Women (FFW). “I met a woman who borrowed $4 – she had never seen $4 in her life. She bought a comb, a pair of scissors and a mirror and she put her husband in business as a barber. Now she has a home and her children are in school – all because of $4.”

Founded on service, the FFW is dedicated to eliminating global poverty by creating and funding microcredit programs globally and locally.  Programs have been funded in India, Zambia, South Africa and Niger. The FFW is a registered NGO and has operated the Foundation for Women Liberia Microcredit Program since 2006. Domestically, the pioneering FFW San Diego Microcredit Program reaches women and families living below the U.S. poverty line, giving them business capital, support and encouragement.

Deborah has more than 35 years experience in education, business and counseling settings helping people achieve their dreams and goals.  She has been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards highlighting outstanding work in the non-profit sector. Deborah is a member of Women Moving Millions, the Women’s Funding Network and is passionate about funding for women and girls.  She is a 15-year member of Rotary and has served in several board capacities; a founding member of the global Rotarian Action Group for Microcredit as well as a board member of that group. She is a member of the Women’s Leadership Board at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Deborah is currently convening “Seats at the Table for Liberia”, a collaborative effort of several key entities working together to totally uplift the country of Liberia from the grassroots.

Deborah holds a masters degree in counseling and education and her PhD work is in clinical psychology.  She is a frequent speaker nationally and internationally regarding microcredit and the empowerment of women and girls.  Her passion and her personal commitment to funding these important issues has motivated thousands to become involved in the social change agenda of the Foundation for Women.

Executive Director, PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise

Rosalind LockyerPARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise was founded in 1995 with Rosalind Lockyer at the helm. Her goal was to create a micro-enterprise program to help women to realize success on their own terms. PARO began as a women’s micro-credit fund; today, as a multi-faceted women-centered community economic development program, it supports several PARO groups located throughout Northwestern Ontario. In June 2011, the Northern Ontario Business identified PARO as ‘One of the strongest peer lenders of small business loans in North America.’ (June 2011 Northern Ontario Business).

The essence and originality of PARO was seeded in how Rosalind involves the members in the organization and program development. A true grassroots organization, the peer lending circle members are elected to the board of directors annually, and collectively work with Rosalind, as primary innovators and decision-makers for the organization. Under her leadership, PARO has received significant recognition for its contribution to women. PARO has received the Soroptimist of Americas Eastern Canada Award for Advancing the Status of Women, and on two separate occasions won the Chamber of Commerce Award for Business Excellence-Not-For-Profit, and the one-time 25th Anniversary Award from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Seven years at university earned Rosalind a Psychology Degree and certified teaching credentials. However, it was the 20 years of working as a teacher, entrepreneur, community developer that left Rosalind blatantly aware of systemic women’s issues, and provided the skills, experience, passion, and determination to work for positive change locally, provincially, and nationally. For these efforts, Rosalind was recognized as one of the 5 Northern leaders in 2011 and was awarded the prestigious Influential Women of Northern Ontario Award-Pubic Sector 2005 by Northern Ontario Business recognizing her leadership in building PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise into the dynamic organization that it is today.

Rosalind’s past and present affiliations include serving as the founding president of the Women’s Economic Council, as chair of the Policy Council, on the financial committee and Board of Directors of the Canadian CED Network, on the women’s reference group for the North Superior Workforce Planning Board (NSWPB), and on the Ontario Social Economy Roundtable (OSER).

Coordinator of External Affairs, Wasiymi Wasiki

Katie Marney

Katie Marney is a recent graduate of McGill University with an honours degree in Political Science and Economics.  In 2009, Katie joined Matt Jeppesen to launch the Peruvian NGO Wasiymi Wasiki’s first pilot program, Conectados. Wasiymi Wasiki, founded in 2008, is Quechua (native Andean language) for “my house is your house”. Wasiymi Wasiki works to engender entrepreneurialism and empower youth in Peru’s marginalized classes: in rural Andean communities and Lima’s urban slums. Project Conectados (Connected) began installing internet equipped computer labs in schools to promote technology use in the classroom. Wasiymi Wasiki expanded into Peru’s mountaineous regions for its third project: to install a computer lab and establish a microbusiness to finance its upkeep.  This program engages parents and students to administer and work for the microbusiness. Moreover, it is integrated into the school curriculum to teach students practical skills and to learn the farm-to-market process. Katie joined Wasiymi Wasiki’s permanent staff as coordinator of External Affairs to lead its active volunteer program, as well as helping develop new projects.

President, TARIS Incorporated and Founder ClearlySO Canada

Julie McDowell

Julie believes in the power of entrepreneurship as a means of tackling the world’s most difficult challenges.  She has been working in, with and for small and mid-sized enterprises for the past 25 years.  As President of TARIS Incorporated she provides advisory, training and research services to social and mission oriented entrepreneurs and investors.  In March of 2010, Julie founded ClearlySo Canada, a national network of social enterprises affiliated with ClearlySo in London, England.  She works collaboratively with its members to celebrate, support and connect Canada’s rapidly growing network of social and environmental entrepreneurs with the tools, resources and contacts they need to maximize the outcome of their work and build effective, sustainable businesses.

Since 2003, Julie has held a number of leadership and volunteer positions with not-for-profit organizations. These include Board Chair of the Canadian Abilities Foundation and Regional Director for ORBIS Canada.  She is also an engaged mentor to promising young women entrepreneurs through her voluntary role at ClearlySo and her participation in Project Wildfire, a project of the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto.

Prior to 2003, Julie enjoyed a successful business career in the apparel and textile industry, and has held sales and management positions in retailing, manufacturing, and small business consulting.  With a partner she founded and grew Millenitex Inc., a promotional merchandising and uniform company with operations in both Canada and the United States that was a finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in 1994.  The company was sold in 1999. Julie continues to maintain her interest in investing in entrepreneurial companies through her active participation in the Maple Leaf Angel Network in Toronto.

She holds a Master of Science from Cornell University where her research focused on the effects of international trade policy on small and mid-sized businesses in the textile and apparel sector.

Vice President, International Programs
Plan Canada

Tanjina Mirza

Born in Bangladesh, one of three daughters, Dr. Tanjina Mirza she knows first-hand the challenges girls and women face in the developing world. She refused to let discrimination and prejudices stop her from becoming a pediatrician trained in tropical medicine.

After graduating from medical school in Bangladesh, Tanjina’s first job was in a UNHCR refugee camp in Bangladesh to treat chronically malnourished children. Tanjina then went on to complete her Masters of Medical Science in Community Health from the University of Western Australia. Following those studies, she was the Senior Medical Officer at the International Centre for Diarrhea Disease Research Institute in Bangladesh where she conducted operations research focusing mainly on health systems design for reaching poor women and children.
Tanjina completed her PhD in Demography from the Australian National University and went on to work for an NGO International Planned Parenthood Federation, in Kuala Lumpur where she supported health programs in North Korea, HIV/AIDS programs in Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

During her twenty years of work in the international development sector, Tanjina has worked as a consultant for WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA in various countries of South East Asia and enjoyed teaching in many universities. She has traveled to over 20 countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America in various capacities

Tanjina joined Plan Canada in 2001 and is currently the Vice President of International Programs. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two sons. She is an avid reader, loves music and spending time with her family. International development is not just a job for; it is her passion and commitment.


Wes Misener

Wes Misener (W*M) is a self taught designer with a passion for producing ethically responsible, more sustainable menswear. His work is best described as masculine, clean, and sophisticated.

W*M designs all his collections using more sustainable fabrics like Certified Organic Cotton, Rayon from Bamboo, Tencel, Ramie and Recycled Polyesters. Clean, precision tailoring, attention to detail, and quality are most important to W*M.

W*M was born in Canada in 1983, and grew up in the town of Smithers, British Columbia. Most of his early life was spent challenging himself by immersing himself in skateboarding in the summer and playing ice hockey in the winter.

His first introduction to the fashion industry came while trying-out for a Junior hockey club in Vancouver, British Columbia. A local fashion photographer approached him at a gym and suggested he should try fashion modeling. W*M spent 4 years working as a fashion model in the Canadian cities of Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. He also worked internationally in the cities of Athens, Greece and Milan, Italy. Some notable Canadian fashion companies W*M worked with were: Point Zero (Montreal), Nike (Toronto), Greta Constantine (Toronto), and Bustle Clothing (Toronto).  W*M currently resides in Toronto.

W*M is a client of ACCESS Community Capital Fund, and has worked closely with an ACCESS mentor to support and expand his business.

CEO and Director Risk Management
Islamic Investment and Finance Cooperatives Group (IIFC Group)

Mahir Momand

Mr. Mahir Momand is the CEO of the national apex organization for Credit Unions in Afghanistan. Momand comes from the microfinance industry and is one of the first people involved in the development of microfinance in Afghanistan. Momand worked for Microfinance Investment and Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA) for six years, playing a significant role in the financial management of the MISFA and its partner microfinance institutions. For the past two years, Momand has served as the CEO of Islamic Investment and Finance Cooperatives Group (IIFC Group), an apex organization for Islamic Investment and Finance Cooperatives (IIFCs), or credit unions. In this role, Momand was key in converting conventional microfinance into one that worked in compliance with Islamic law and contextualized it to the needs of Afghanistan’s cultural and social environment. Momand holds an M.A. in business administration and is currently working towards completing a degree in political science.

Owner, North Accounting Services

Jennifer NorthJennifer North has been a volunteer small business mentor with ACCESS
Community Capital Fund since spring 2010. She owns and operates North
Accounting Services with the assistance of her husband Ian North.

Jennifer works full-time in the areas of accounting and bookkeeping, while
pursuing her CGA designation.  She is a Member of the QuickBooks ProAdvisor®
Program. Jennifer also teaches Small Business Management part-time at Durham

She is a well-rounded business consultant and marketer who recently turned
to numbers and is mastering the language of business.  She understands the
big picture when it comes to small business operations.


Owner, Oluchi Group Canada

Buchi OnakufeBuchi is a natural entrepreneur has tried her hand at several small businesses, from shipping cars and other goods to Africa for sale, to providing catering services for individuals and parties. Recently she has partnered with a food processing company in Canada to exclusively export their products to Africa.

Buchi was born in Nigeria. She has a BSc in Microbiology from Port-Harcourt University. While she was at university she ran a a bakery, the Buchezee Eateries. She worked in the food processing industry briefly and migrated to Canada in 2000. She worked in a few factories in her first year in Canada, then with Nuance Group in Quality Control.  She  has taken the business development program from Micro Skills recently.

Buchi is a client of ACCESS Community Capital Fund.


Executive Director, Rooftops Canada

Barry Pinsky

Barry Pinsky has worked for over 30 years in all aspects of low-income housing development from grassroots housing projects to municipal and national policy. He is one of the pioneers of the modern cooperative housing movement in Canada. He helped establish one of the first housing co-op NGOs in Canada, and developed numerous community based non-profit co-op housing projects in Montreal and Greater Toronto Area. He has also carried this experience to numerous countries overseas. He worked on the first slum upgrading project in post-independent Mozambique where he also prepared the first guidelines for urban land use controls.

An architect and urban planner by training, he is the Executive Director of Rooftops Canada – Abri International, the international development program of cooperative and social housing groups in Canada. During his tenure, Rooftops Canada has mobilized over $30 million to build the capacity of housing partners and it has helped leverage over $120 million in housing activity, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. More recently, this has included a six-year project to strengthen the social housing sector in South Africa, a post-tsunami housing program in Aceh, Indonesia, and an ongoing African regional program on HIV, AIDS and human settlements. Rooftops Canada is currently working with numerous housing organizations and financial institutions in sub-Saharan Africa to support housing microfinance programs.

Barry Pinsky has also played an active international role promoting the right to adequate housing. He was a Board member of the Habitat International Coalition and was recently named a “HIC Wisdom Keeper”. He was a member of the International Facilitating Group that organized civil society participation in Habitat II, and has been a CSO member of numerous official Canadian delegations including those to Habitat II +5, the UN Habitat Governing Council and several World Urban Forums. He has organized and made presentations at numerous workshops and conferences, and published widely on a range of human settlements issues.

Project Manager, The New Development Solutions Group

Beck PryorBeck Pryor is the Project Manager at the U.S. headquarters of the New Development Solutions Group, which includes Community Enterprise Solutions, Social Entrepreneur Corps and NDS Consulting. These are all ventures whose mission is to design and implement innovative responses to long-standing development challenges, including the innovative MicroConsignment Model (MCM). The MCM creates profound economic opportunity where it is most needed, in isolated, poor villages. It establishes first-time access to life-changing technologies such as improved cook stoves, solar chargers/lamps and near vision glasses. Earlier this year, Beck organized the inaugural MCM Workshop in Antigua, Guatemala, which convened 30 development professionals from around the world to discuss the global acceleration of the model. Beck is currently working with co-founder Greg Van Kirk on increasing worldwide implementation of the MCM.

Beck received her undergraduate degree in May 2009 from Columbia University. Upon joining the New Development Solutions Group team, she spent 14 months in Guatemala working with local entrepreneurs to increase the impact of the MCM on the ground. While there, Beck was also a field leader for organizational internship and volunteer programs and conducted market and industry research.

President, CEO and co-founder of Secutor Capital Management Corporation

Jeff Rayman

Mr. Rayman is the President, Chief Executive Officer, and co‐founder of Secutor Capital Management Corp, an investment advisory firm, specializing in defensive capital management. Prior to that, Mr. Rayman was the President of Student Awards Inc. an online resource assisting students in accessing Grant and Scholarship funding for post‐secondary education. From the late Seventies until 2000, Mr. Rayman was in the Canadian Film Industry. As both a board member of Alliance Atlantis Communications and the President of Alliance Atlantis Equicap Corp., Mr. Rayman has over 30 years experience in the Film and Financial Industries, involving the creation, distribution, and management, of financial services and products.

As well, Mr. Rayman is actively involved in the world of philanthropy as both a fundraiser, and board member of several charitable organizations. Active in areas of advocacy, increased awareness through public speaking, fund raising, and strategic development. Mr. Rayman’s primary focus is providing people with the opportunity to help themselves while achieving a sense of pride, dignity, and self sufficiency, the direction in which Mr. Rayman feels the concept charity should be moving, “a hand up as opposed to a hand out”. Most recently, Mr. Rayman has become a member of Rotary International, one of the worlds oldest service organizations, whose motto is “Service Above Self”.

Mr. Rayman resides in Toronto Canada with his wife, Rita. Together, they have four grown children.

Vice President, Financial Services, MEDA

Julie Redfern

Julie Redfern is a senior microfinance specialist with over 18 years of international experience in providing managerial and technical expertise to start up, mature and formalize MFIs around the world.  Julie has been with MEDA since 1996 and has led the Financial Services team since 2003. She leads a team of 10 staff and associates in both North America and abroad, and has provided project management and consulting services to over 16 clients in 40 countries. She serves as a director on the Boards of two Microfinance Institutions: MiCredito (Nicaragua), and Sevis Finansye Fonkoze (Haiti) and previously served on the board of Microvest, a private investment fund for MFIs. 

Prior to joining MEDA, Julie was a project manager for the SEEP Network, supporting the scale up of microenterprise programs.  From 1991-1995 she managed CARE International’s Rural Enterprise Promotion Project in Lesotho, and served in the Peace Corps (Lesotho) as a small business advisor.  Julie has also previously managed a branch of the Tucson Federal Credit Union in Tucson, Arizona for five years.  She holds a Masters in Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts in Economics and two advanced certificates in Credit Union Management.

Senior Economic Policy Advisor, Canadian International Development Agency

Joanna RichardsonJoanna Richardson is a Senior Economic Policy Advisor and, for the past year and a half, the corporate focal point for microfinance issues at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).  For the last eleven years at CIDA, she has managed economic and financial policy analysis, development and implementation on issues like aid untying and in sectors such as information and communication technologies, agriculture and food security, and private sector development.  In addition, she has corporate responsibility for development financing issues, including financial sector development, taxation, and innovative financing mechanisms. She has worked with domestic and international stakeholders and represented Canada at a number of international fora including the UN World Food Summit +5, the G8 Digital Opportunities Task Force, the OECD’s Poverty Reduction Network and the World Bank Annual Meetings.

Ms. Richardson has a B.Sc. (Hon) in Math and Engineering (Electrical) from Queen’s University, and pursued post-graduate studies in economics and finance. She has worked in Bolivia, Denmark and Japan but presently calls Ottawa her home where she lives with her husband and their three young children.  In her (all-too-limited) free time, she enjoys playing and coaching soccer.

Founded the Aboriginal Business Resource Centre in GTA

Kenn Ross

Kenn Ross, a Micmac and member of the Millbrook First Nation of Nova Scotia, was born in Montreal but has lived in Toronto since he was 11. After graduating from York University’s Glendon College with a Specialized Honours BA in English and where he won the inaugural bp nichol award for creative writing, Kenn worked successively for the Canada Council for Aboriginal Business, CIBC and Bank of Montreal. All his roles revolved around Aboriginal employment development and diversity issues. Kenn then joined the Aboriginal Economic Renewal Initiative, a project of the federal and provincial governments meant to stimulate Aboriginal business in Ontario.

In 2004, Kenn joined Miziwe Biik and founded its Aboriginal Business Resource Centre, which delivers entrepreneur and business skills development to Aboriginal people in the Greater Toronto Area. Kenn also initiated the formation of Miziwe Biik Development Corporation, which oversees various projects affecting the Aboriginal community, including housing, youth programs, and social enterprises among other opportunities. Based on these experiences, Kenn places a strong value on partnerships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal interests.

Founder, A Cup of Change

Claire Ross Dunn

Claire Ross Dunn is a writer for television.  She is currently an Executive Story Editor on Wingin’ It, a teen sitcom for Family Channel, Disney XD Canada and the BBC.   Claire was also a Writer and Executive Story Editor for Seasons 3 and 4 of CBC’s Little Mosque on the Prairie.  Prior to that, Claire was a Producer and Head Writer for all 3 seasons of The Smart Woman Survival Guide, a half-hour sitcom for the W Network and Cosmo TV.  Other TV credits include writing for such shows as Degrassi, The Next Generation, Lunar Jim for the CBC and BBC, Family Channel’s Henry’s World, and Anne of Green Gables, The Animated Series (PBS/TVO).

Claire has published a kids’ non-fiction book with Key Porter Books in Canada and Firefly in the U.S., and her editorials have been heard on CBC Radio and read in the Globe and Mail.  She recently completed her novel, Tassels & Fishnets, supported by the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

Claire is also the Founder of A Cup of Change, a program that raises money through the sale of fair trade coffee to support the building of schoolhouses through Free the Children.  A Cup of Change’s first schoolhouse was built in Kenya, and further coffee sales have supported that school’s teacher salaries, student supplies, the building of a latrine and alternative income programs for the community’s women.  The building of a second schoolhouse is currently underway in Terre Cassée, Haiti.  A Cup of Change seeks to empower small groups of consumers to support not only producers of fair trade coffee, but also the educational needs of children and communities in developing countries.  It is a social enterprise model that is free and available to anyone.

Author of A Billion Bootstraps

Phil Smith

In 2002, upon selling the company of which he was CEO, Phil Smith began searching for ways to be more effective in his charitable giving. After suffering numerous disappointments, he learned about the concept of microfinance and immediately became enthralled. After scouring the few available public sources for information, he met Eric Thurman, a world-renowned expert on the subject. After dealing with each other for three years, they were inspired to co-write a book about the basics of microfinance so they could share the concept with the general public. Just before the book was published, Professor Yunus was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in microfinance. Yunus agreed to write a forward for the book which was subsequently published and quickly became one of the standard readings on the subject. Since that time Smith has become involved in microfinance in many ways.

Smith administers estates and manages private investments. He is on the Board of Directors of the publicly traded Eagle Rock Energy L.P. and three other companies. Mr. Smith was CEO and Chairman of Prize Energy Corp. in Grapevine, TX from January1999 to March of 2002.  From 1996 until 1999, he served as a director of HS Resources, Inc. and of Pioneer Natural Resources Company and its predecessor, MESA, Inc.  From 1989 until 1996 he was CEO of Tide West Oil Company and its predecessor.

Smith and Eric Thurman co-authored A Billion Bootstraps which was published in 2007 by McGraw-Hill. It is a book about microfinance from a donor’s point of view. He and Peter Greer co-authored The Poor Will Be Glad which was published in 2009 by Zondervan. It is a book about helping churches be more effective in their foreign efforts by both helping people and sharing the Gospel. He serves on the Board of Directors for Hope International’s MFI located in Russia. He regularly speaks to organizations, foundations, and churches in an effort to promote microfinance.

Board Member, Opportunity International US

Kadita A.T. Tshibaka

Until his retirement in 2007, Kadita ‘AT’ Tshibaka was Head of the Divisional Risk Management team for the Wholesale & International Banking Division of Lloyds TSB Group plc. AT joined Lloyds TSB at the beginning of 2005, prior to which he had spent 33 years at Citibank in a variety of roles in different geographies and functions: Operations, Credit/Risk, Financial Institutions, Treasury, Corporate Banking, and Country/Regional/Global Management. From July 2002 to December 2004, he held the role of Head of Corporate Credit Risk for Emerging Markets at Citigroup (77 countries).

AT was interim President and CEO of Opportunity International U.S. (04/09-03/10) and currently serves on the Boards of Opportunity International US, Opportunity International Network, and is a member of the Board of Governors of the organization. A.T. is also a Board member of KazInvestBank, a commercial bank in Kazakhstan. He recently joined the Boards of The Tucker Foundation and the Eleazar Wheelock Society, both at Dartmouth College.

AT obtained his Bachelor of Economics degree from Dartmouth College (USA) and his MBA from The Amos Tuck School of Business Administration.

Opportunity International is a Christian non-profit microfinance organization dedicated to sering poor people, supporting them as they lift themselves out of poverty.  Opportunity is giving these entrepreneurs a working chance to holistically transform their lives, their families and communities.

Founder and Chairman of the Board, Microrate Inc.

Damian von Stauffenberg

Damian von Stauffenberg is the founder of  MicroRate, the world’s first rating agency specializing in microfinance. Through its Latin American and African operating subsidiaries, MicroRate has conducted hundreds of ratings of microfinance institutions in Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe. Before dedicating himself to microfinance, Mr. von Stauffenberg worked for 25 years in the World Bank and its private sector affiliate, the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

In the past, Mr. von Stauffenberg has been closely associated with of a number of institutions that have played pioneering roles in connecting microfinance to capital markets. He has been President of Seed Capital Development Fund (SCDF), Chairman of the Investment Committee of Profund the first-ever microfinance equity fund, Chairman of the executive committee of MicroVest and member of the Executive Committee of the Latin American Challenge Investment Fund, LA-CIF.


View speaker bios from our 2010 conference.



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