March 6th: Peter Bladin, Grameen Technology Center

Our next SVMN meeting will be held on Monday, March 6th in Redwood City, and our speaker will be Peter Bladin, from the Grameen Technology Center.

To register for the event, please visit our SVMN event eVite here.

35% Interest Rates?!? Holy Mackerel!

The average interest rate that microfinance institutions charge a borrower for a loan is 35%. While this might seem high by western standards, it's still much better than the alternative of loan sharks who charge as much as 100% per day. But what makes up that 35%? Turns out it's rather expensive to provide microfinance services, where transaction values are low and cost to serve is high. So how can we reduce the costs of running an MFI in order to reduce rates to borrowers?

Peter Bladin, Grameen Technology Center

Peter Bladin, founder of the Grameen Technology Center (GTC), will help us think through the costs to run and MFI and introduce us to some solutions. Specifically, he will talk about the MIFOS project, an initiative of the GTC.

Who: Peter Bladin, Founding Director, Grameen Technology Center

Peter founded the GTC to focus is to bring information and communication technology opportunities to microfinance institutions as well as its borrowers in a financially sustainable way. He came to the U.S. from Sweden in 1987 to work at Microsoft Corporation. Peter has a degree in Mathematics, with minors in Programming and Economics from the University of Uppsala, Sweden. He is a board member of MTN villagePhone in Uganda. He is active in various pro-poor and technology focused non-profits in Seattle, Washington and is currently the board chair of Npower Seattle. Peter is also a partner at Social Venture Partners.

What:

Dinner, drinks and debate!

When: Monday, March 6th, 2006

6:00-6:30pm: Registration & Dinner
6:30-8:30pm: Speaker & Discussion
8:30-9:00pm: Networking & Wrapup

Where: Omidyar Network

1991 Broadway Suite 200
Redwood City, CA 94063
(directions here)

Why:

The Silicon Valley Microfinance Network (SVMN) is a group of SF Bay Area people who meet regularly to discuss and learn more about current microfinance topics and issues.

Registration & Cost:

$10 for dinner, please register in advance here

Sponsors:

Dignity Fund
Gray Ghost Fund

Questions? Contact SVMN Co-Chairs:

Tracey Pettengill (415.595.5582)
Premal Shah (650.248.7736)
Dave McClure (650.678.8125)

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