Results tagged as "citi community development"

  • Microfinance: Bringing the unbanked into the financial mainstream.

    By Jose Quinonez, Executive Director, Mission Asset Fund May 23, 2011 03:27 PM

    This week's fully subscribed Microfinance USA Conference in New York is just one of many signs that microfinance has an important role to play in reaching the millions of people in the United States who are outside financial mainstream. Because of poor credit or lack of credit, many people -- like the low-income and immigrant residents served by Mission Asset Fund -- lack access to quality financial services. These "unbanked" individuals and families have limited savings and investment opportunities and often have difficulty finding the capital and support needed to start and grow businesses.

    Faced with these types of financial hurdles, immigrants frequently seek and develop their own solutions, often utilizing informal peer lending models from their countries of origin. Peer lending circles have many names around the world: from the Susus throughout Africa, Paluwagan in the Philippines, Lun-hui in China to Tandas in Mexico. Regardless of the name, each is built on the principle that participants agree to make regular contributions to a common fund, which is then distributed in whole or in part to each contributor in rotation. Once a member has received the fund, the cycle continues until all members receive a distribution.

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  • Supporting the next generation of microfinance leaders.

    By Citi May 18, 2011 02:50 PM

    Recently, the Microlumbia Fund -- a student organization at Columbia Business School -- hosted the Microlumbia 4th Annual Microfinance Conference. The event looked back at the last decade in microfinance and also forward to the challenges and opportunities of the decade to come. In this video, Lucia Villar, co-president of the Microlumbia Fund, speaks from the conference about the importance of the fund as a forum for providing the Columbia Business School community and other emerging leaders with the means and opportunities to become lifelong contributors to the field. The fund is non-profit and staffed by students who provide growing microfinance institutions with pro-bono consulting services and debt capital.

    Bob Annibale, Citi's Global Director of Microfinance and Community Development, participated on a panel at the conference, focusing on "Extending Horizons of Microfinance Investments."

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