January 12th SVMN Meeting: Water Credit

Water it Down!

What does clean water have to do with microfinance and ridding the world of poverty? Come find out…

The next Silicon Valley Microfinance Network (SVMN) meeting will be on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 and will feature Gary White, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Water.org and April Rinne, Director of WaterCredit at Water.org.

Gary White

Gary White

April Rinne

April Rinne

This Speaker Event will address water sanitation, microfinance and the potential of the sectors working together to target and alleviate poverty.

Gary and April will discuss WaterCredit, and how Water.org is catalyzing the work of MFIs in the water and sanitation sector to address the foremost water-related health issues in the developing world.

  • Why has financing for water sanitation (watsan) in the developing world historically been so challenging?
  • What – and where – are current global watsan funding needs, options and gaps?
  • What are the appropriate roles of philanthropic, “social” and commercially-oriented capital vis-à-vis watsan investment?
  • What microfinance models can be applied most effectively to the watsan sector?  What does WaterCredit uniquely bring to the table in this regard?
  • What’s still needed to bring the microfinance and watsan sectors together to achieve maximum scale and success?

Join us at this meeting, as Gary and April will address these questions and more!

Register early!  Online registration closes the day of the event.  At-the-door admission is $10 more.

To register, please click on the SVMN registration link here:


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

6:00-6:30 — Sign-in, dinner, networking

6:30-7:15 — Intros & Speaker Presentations

7:15-8:00 —Q&A

8:00-8:30 — Networking


The Orrick Building

405 Howard Street.

San Francisco, CA 94105

(directions here)


in advance: $20 regular attendee | $10 students & non-profits (w/ ID)
at the door: $30 regular attendee | $20 students & non-profits (w/ ID)
(includes dinner + drinks)

Speaker Bios

Gary J White

Gary White is Executive Director and Co-Founder of Water.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering people in the developing world to gain access to safe water and sanitation. (Water.org is a result of the July 2009 merger between WaterPartners, co-founded by White, and H2O Africa, co-founded by Matt Damon.) White’s entrepreneurial vision has driven innovations in the way water and sanitation projects are delivered and financed, and these innovations now serve as a model in the sector.
White is a leading advisor in the water and sanitation space, counseling organizations such as the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Open Square Foundation, PepsiCo Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, and Coca-Cola on responses to the global water crisis. White is a founding board member of the Millennium Water Alliance and Water Advocates. In 2003, he was named a fellow of the British American Project. In 2008, he was inducted into the Philanthropy World Hall of Fame. In March 2009, WaterPartners received the Skoll Foundation’s Award for Social Entrepreneurship and White was inducted into the community of Skoll social entrepreneurs.

White’s educational credentials include: M. S., Environmental Engineering with emphasis on water supply and sanitation in developing countries, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; M. S., Civil Engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla; and B. S., Civil Engineering, Minor in Communications, University of Missouri-Rolla.

April Rinne

April Rinne is the Director of WaterCredit at Water.org.  WaterCredit is an innovative initiative that puts microfinance tools to use in the water and sanitation (watsan) sector, and catalyzes more efficient use of philanthropic and commercial capital to meet the watsan needs of the developing world.

Prior to Water.org April was the Director of Venture Development at Unitus, a global microfinance accelerator and provider of innovative solutions to global poverty.  In this capacity she provided legal and strategic advice to the Unitus family, including both non-profit and commercially-oriented strategic affiliates of the organization.  Previously April was a private lawyer focusing primarily on international microfinance-related transactions for several years, both in the United States and abroad.  In this capacity she advised numerous non-profit and for-profit microfinance clients and worked on various microfinance transactions, including the Blue Orchard Loans for Development (BOLD) 2006 securitization which won international legal awards.  April also collaborates with the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) as a microfinance course trainer and frequently serves as a speaker on microfinance- and watsan-related topics.  She began her microfinance career at Women’s World Banking.

April is a graduate of Harvard Law School (J.D.) and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (M.A. in International Finance and Development Economics).  She speaks fluent Italian, advanced Spanish and passable French.  She enjoys running, hiking, biking, camping and spending as much time in nature as possible.  An inveterate adventurer, April has travelled to 78 countries at last count.


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