The Microcredit Summit Campaign brings together microfinance practitioners, advocates, educational institutions, donor agencies, international financial institutions, non-governmental organizations and others involved with microfinance to promote best practices in the field, to stimulate the interchanging of knowledge and to work towards reaching our goals.
In 1997, the first Microcredit Summit launched a nine-year campaign to reach 100 million of the world’s poorest families, especially the women of those families, with credit for self-employment and other financial and business services by the year 2005. In November of 2006 the Campaign was re-launched to 2015 with two new goals: 1) to reach 175 million of the world’s poorest with microfinance and 2) to help 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty.
In addition to our goals, the Campaign has four core themes that focus not only on the number of clients reached but also on the quality of the practitioners’ work:
While we recognize the importance of financial inclusion for all overlooked by the traditional banking sector, the Campaign specifically focuses on reaching the poorest families. In developing countries these are families living below 50 percent of the poverty line. In industrialized countries the Campaign is focused on all of those living below their nation’s poverty line.
Experience shows that women are a good credit risk, and that woman-run businesses tend to benefit family members more directly than those run by men. At the same time, through earning an income women achieve a higher status in their homes, their communities, and their nations.
Experience has shown that microcredit programs in developing countries can improve their efficiency by structuring their interest rates and fees to eventually cover their operating and financial costs. Though the economic context in industrialized countries is radically different, the Summit encourages programs in these countries to explore ways of becoming self-sufficient so that, to the greatest extent possible, their operating costs will be covered through direct revenue from program services.
While financial measures such as program repayment rates give an indication of the strength of a microcredit institution, the Campaign is committed to programs having a positive, measurable impact on the lives of the very poor. The Campaign’s 100 Million Project is directly linked to this effort by promoting the use of and collecting data from, poverty measurement tools to enable MFIs to generate products and services that best help their clients move out of poverty.
Additionally, the Campaign is the administrative home of the industry initiative, Truelift. Truelift is a global initiative to push for accountability in pro-poor development. Truelift is a trust mark — in microfinance and other forms of social business — to signify commitment to positive and enduring change for people affected by conditions of poverty.
- The Microcredit Summit Campaign website: http://microcreditsummit.org.
- Learn about past Summits.
- Check out our 100 Million Ideas blog.
- Make a donation to the Microcredit Summit Campaign.
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AGFUND Innovative Development
AGFUND (the Arab Gulf Program for Development) is a regional development organization that was established in 1980 upon the initiative of HRH Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud (AGFUND’s President) with the support of leaders of the Arab Gulf States. AGFUND works to support sustainable human development toward the targeted groups in the least-developed countries (LDC).
The core developmental works of AGFUND involve alleviating poverty through Financial Inclusion, Early Childhood Development, Women Empowerment, NGO’s Enhancement, and Open Education.
Proceeding from these core activities, AGFUND had led several initiatives that construe its main objectives. Several initiatives were embodied in specialized development organizations and large projects that reflect and express AGFUND objectives.
AGFUND has come up with a clear and practical vision to launch and disseminate innovative development projects. This vision is represented in AGFUND Development Model, which is formed of 6 main elements: The idea, strategic partner, vehicle, finance, assessment and then dissemination.
AGFUND Development Model is based on finding out the idea of the initiative or project; searching for the suitable strategic partner; finding the vehicle that contains the idea upon implementation; the finance and project assessment at a later stage. Based on that, the idea will be disseminated and implemented on a larger scale.
Poverty Alleviation and Financial Inclusion
The approach that AGFUND follows in alleviating poverty is traced back to 1997, when HRH Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz, AGFUND’s President, launched his initiative to establish Banks for the Poor in the least-developed countries, with the aim of integrating the target groups in the financial system of their respective countries, and transforming them into self-reliant productive force. Since then, through advice, consultancy and technical assistance in many countries, AGFUND has sought to pave the way for the regulatory environment of this type of banks.
These efforts yielded in 2006 with the opening of the first Microfinance bank in the Arab World in Jordan, namely Alwatani, followed by Alamal in Yemen, then Ibdaa banks in Bahrain, Syria, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, Sudan, Palestine and Mauritania.
Therefore, AGFUND has become the major player in the Arab World in establishing Microfinance banks and provide people who suffer extreme poverty with financial services. In addition, more banks are in the pipeline in Morocco, Tunisia, the Philippines, Comoros and Senegal. AGFUND banks provide services and products ranging from loans, savings, deposits, to current accounts, health insurance, remittances and currency exchange. These banks provided 466,000 loans to more than 2,600,000 beneficiaries, 64% of them are women. They also hire 1,000 employees in 72 branches. It is worth mentioning that our strategic partner in this mission is Professor Muhammad Yunus, Founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.
To integrate the development needs of the target groups, AGFUND has established a number of regional specialized organizations, namely the Arab Council for Childhood and Development (ACCD) in Cairo, the Centre of Arab Women for Training and Research (CAWTAR) in Tunis, the Arab Network for NGOs in Cairo and the Arab Open University (AOU).
Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development was established in 2007 as an independent body of the Abu Dhabi Government. Its goal was to implement the long-term vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi, under the direction of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, deputy supreme commander of the Armed Forces and chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
Khalifa Fund aims to contribute towards enhancing the country’s competitive economy and to transform the Emirate of Abu Dhabi into a major investment and economic hub in the region.
To lead entrepreneurship development and to facilitate the growth of competitive SMEs.
To fuel an entrepreneurial culture, drive innovation and sustainable growth of Emirati SMEs that contribute to the social and economic development of the UAE by providing access to services and financing, and by facilitating an SME-friendly environment.
The Fund provides financing solutions for viable projects, which help to feed the national economy. These financing programs are Khutwa, Bedaya, Zeyada and Tasneea, which cover all segments. In addition, there are number of social initiatives like Sougha, which targets the Emiratis who work on heritage handicrafts, Al Radda that targets rehabilitation center inmates, Ishraq for those who have recovered from addiction at the National Centre for Rehabilitation. Amal is a Khalifa Fund initiative that target special-needs Emiratis. In addition to Al Hasela which targets the Emiratis fishermen.