Small Loans, Big Dreams
How Muhammad Yunus, Grameen, & Microfinance are Changing the World
Please join us Tuesday, September 16th, 2008 at the Intuit HQ in Mountain View for the next SVMN meeting where our speaker will be Alex Counts, President and CEO of Grameen Foundation:
Alex will discuss his new book Small Loans, Big Dreams which tells the story of microfinance through the eyes of borrowers, lenders, and leaders of microfinance. Alex will share his perspectives from the book as well as personal experiences from the early years of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, where he spent years working side by side with Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner & founder of Grameen. [Note: You may purchase the book in advance from the Grameen Foundation website and bring it to the meeting for Alex to sign.]
With the rich perspective of a person who has been involved in microfinance since early on and dedicated his entire career to this field, Alex Counts spoke about his professional journey, Grameen Foundation and other Grameen organizations, and the frontiers of microfinance. He told poignant anecdotes about individual micro-borrowers, reminding us of the real, daily struggles that the working poor face to survive. He also encouraged people to think boldly about how to leverage microfinance’s unique asset — the relationships and trust between MFIs and poor people, this already-existing ‘pipeline’ — to create greater social improvements in the near and long-term futures. The field of microfinance is far from saturated, and much more can be done to evolve the systems that have been built thus far. Alex encouraged civic groups and networks like SVMN to dedicate themselves to ethically scaling microfinance around the world.
After his inspiring and good humored speech, Alex answered questions and also spent time signing his new book and speaking with SVMN members individually.
(more info below)
Please click here to register:
When: Tuesday, September 16, 2008
6:00-6:30pm: Registration, Dinner, & Networking
6:30-8:00pm: Speaker & Discussion
8:00-8:30pm: Book Signing, Networking, & Wrapup
Where: Intuit offices
2600 Casey Ave, Building 9
Mountain View, CA 94043
register online & save: $20 regular attendee | $10 students & non-profit (w/ ID)
at-the-door prices are $10 higher: $30 regular | $20 student & non-profit
(includes dinner + drinks; there is no “non-dinner” option… so eat up!)
Alex Counts has more than two decades’ experience in microfinance, starting as a Fulbright scholar at Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. In 1997, he founded Grameen Foundation, a dynamic nonprofit that fights global poverty through its network of microfinance partners in 28 countries in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Through this network, Grameen Foundation has impacted the lives of an estimated 31 million of the world’s poor. Through its Strategic Services unit, the foundation is engaging the global microfinance industry by championing innovations focused on capital investment in microfinance, poverty measurement, human resources, and technology.
Prior to establishing Grameen Foundation, Mr. Counts served as the legislative director of RESULTS and also worked as regional project manager for CARE-Bangladesh. While at Grameen Bank, he worked and studied under Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder and managing director of Grameen Bank, and helped to establish the bank’s flagship newsletter, Grameen Dialogue. Mr. Counts chairs the board of Project Enterprise and serves on the boards of Fonkoze USA and the PLAN Fund. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors of the Katalysis Bootstrap Fund and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Grameen Dialogue. In addition, he serves on the board of Grameen-Jameel Pan Arab Microfinance Limited, an enterprise based on Professor Yunus’ concept of social businesses.
Mr. Counts is the author of Small Loans, Big Dreams which was published by Wiley and Sons in March 2008, and Give Us Credit: How Muhammad Yunus’ Micro-Lending Revolution is Empowering Women from Bangladesh to Chicago, which was published by Random House (New York) and Research Press (New Delhi) in 1996. He earned a BA in economics from Cornell University.
You can download and read Alex Counts’ recent article, “Reimagining Microfinance,” in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (http://www.grameenfoundation.org/pubdownload/~pubid=54).