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 – Gala


Carol GolenchCAROL GOLENCH, President of the Toronto International Microfinance Summit and a member of the Toronto Earlscourt Rotary Club, is also Vice President Policy of the Ontario Women’s Liberal Commission and served several terms as Vice President Policy of the Ontario Liberal Party. She is a former board member of Best Buddies Canada, a national charitable organization, and Annexus, a local initiative serving the homeless.  A Past President of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) Alumni Association, she was also an executive member of the University of Toronto Alumni Association. She served on the University’s Council of Presidents and College of Electors and is an alumni member of the Academic Board for 2011 to 2012.

Her community activity has included membership on the benefit committee of the National Ballet School and Chair of the “Symphony of Hope” fundraiser to aid Out of the Cold.  She is currently a board member of Sinfonia Toronto.

Carol has been an educator and administrator of International Languages programs for the Peel District School Board.  She also developed a comprehensive model for dealing with youth violence in schools for the Solicitor General Canada.

After graduating from university, she attended the University of Aix-Marseilles where she completed studies in French Language and Literature.  Carol holds a PhD (Theory and Policy Studies in Education) from the University of Toronto.


Phil Smith

PHIL SMITH, co-author of A Billion Bootstraps: Microcredit, Barefoot Banking, and the Business Solution for Ending Poverty, a book published in 2007 about microfinance from the donor’s point of view

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.


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