March 30th SVMN Meeting: Microfinance in Our Backyard

Microfinance in Our Backyard: Serving the Un-banked Communities in the Bay Area

The next Silicon Valley Microfinance Network (SVMN) meeting will be Tuesday, March 30th, 2010  and will feature Rick Parras, CEO & Co-Founder of Apoyo Financiero and Haydeé Moreno, Micro Branch Director & Vice President of Self-Help. Devin McAlpine, Business Advisor for Opportunity Fund will follow the presentations with a case study and interview with one of Opportunity Fund’s loan recipients.

During this speaker event, local microfinance practitioners and a borrower will speak about the successes, challenges and the current and future environment of domestic lending in the Bay Area.

This evening will showcase the business models of three unique, Bay Area microfinance initiatives, as well as a case study interviewing one of Opportunity Fund’s clients.

  • Apoyo Financiero is a for-profit microfinance company servicing primarily the Hispanic un-banked community with personal loans.  Founded in 2007 and located in the Mission District of San Francisco, Apoyo Financiero has provided almost $5M in loans in the Bay Area in the first 2 years of operation.
  • Self-Help is a nonprofit community development lender, credit union, and real estate developer that works with underserved individuals, organizations and communities. Self-Help’s Micro Branch Pilot is designed to provide a one-stop-shop of relevant products that can meet the needs of working families today and offer a path towards financial stability tomorrow.  The first Micro Branch opened in East San Jose in January, 2010.
  • Opportunity Fund is California’s largest nonprofit microlender.  Opportunity Fund offers a unique blend of microfinance products, business advising, financial education, and community investment to help low-income families work toward economic stability. Since 1995, Opportunity Fund has provided $10 million in capital to more than 700 low-income entrepreneurs, and offered thousands of hours of business advising to over 2,200 clients. Three-quarters of their borrowers are minorities, and 60% are women.

Rick Parras, Haydeé Moreno and Devin McAlpine will bring their extensive, practical experience to the table.   This event will be hosted in partnership with Opportunity Fund, to support the upcoming May conference, Microfinance USA.

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:

When: Tuesday, March 30, 2010

6:00-6:30 — Sign-in, dinner, networking
6:30-7:15 — Intros and speaker presentation
7:15-8:00 — Q&A
8:00-8:30 – Networking

Where: Hanson Bridgett offices

425 Market Street, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
(directions here)

There is a parking garage (entrance on Fremont St) that costs $10 after 4:30pm.


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

Rick Parras

Rick Parras is CEO & Co-Founder of Apoyo Financiero and has over 25 years of experience in the consumer finance industry, including 18 years at Citifinancial, a member of Citigroup. While at Citifinancial, he wa an instrumental part of the team that started Credito Familiar, a joint venture between Citigroup and Bancomer Financial Group. He helped to grow the network from two to 28 branches, and was responsible for branch operations and implementation of business model and business culture.

Mr. Parras was also involved with the acquisitions of Atlas Finance, the second largest consumer finance company in Chile; and Provencred, a consumer finance company in Argentina. Mr. Parras was responsible for implementing the business model and transforming the branch operations at Altlas Finance. Mr. Parras spent over 4 years on international assignments in Mexico, Chile and Argentina.

Mr. Parras established Apoyo Financiero in San Francisco’s Mission District in November of 2007. Since then, Apoyo Financiero has provided almost $5M in loans in the Bay Area.

Haydeé Moreno

Haydeé Moreno is Vice President of Self-Help, and Micro Branch Director.  The Micro Branch pilot is designed to meet the needs of working families who are un-banked and under-banked. The objective of the Micro Branch model is to provide a one-stop-shop of relevant products and services that can meet the needs of working families today and offer a path towards financial stability and wealth building tomorrow. The first Micro Branch opened in East San Jose on January 2010.

Prior to joining Self-Help, Ms. Moreno spent four years on Wall Street – as a financial analyst in the Mergers & Acquisitions group of JPMorgan, then as an equity research associate in the Specialty Retail Stores group of Goldman Sachs. After leaving New York, she spent a year in Austin, Texas and worked with the CDFI PeopleFund as a Strategy Consultant before moving to the Bay Area. Ms. Moreno holds a BBA from The University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Stanford University.

Devin McAlpine

Devin McAlpine is a Business Advisor and manager of the Technical Assistance Department for Opportunity Fund.  In the time Mr. McAlpine has been with Opportunity Fund (since August of 2004), he has enjoyed watching the program grow from 30 loans a year to 200 a year.  Mr. McAlpine helps potential barrowers review contracts, provides post loan support and when necessary, supports business development if a borrower’s business is struggling.

Previously, Mr. McAlpine worked in Financial Planning and Analysis and a Controller for several technology companies during the dot com boom. He also lived in Madrid, Spain and taught English before returning to the United States.


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