It was a proud day for me on the 26th June as the Microfinance CEO Working Group released its first annual report. The MCWG, which was formed in early 2011, represents a collaborative effort by the leaders of ten international organizations to promote microfinance around the world and the institutions that make up the wider industry. From the very beginning we have committed to supporting our members and bringing financial services to those who have traditionally been excluded from accessing them. So far, the work of the group has affected the lives of 89 million people in 87 different countries.
I was a founding member of the MCWG and an early champion of its activities and objectives. I helped to establish female empowerment as a core principle of the group and, having seen the exploitation of the poor in many parts of the world, the idea of “client protection” and responsible microfinance. It’s my firm belief that by bringing microfinance organizations together in this way, we can ensure we provide financial help to those who need it the most.
Today, the MCWG is a marketplace for ideas, and a forum for the exchange and study of information between pioneering international organizations. As a group, we communicate with key influencers and the media to generate support for, and interest in, the microfinance industry, and we champion the solutions that microfinance can provide. At the same time, we encourage the development of industry standards for performance in order to ensure the delivery of high-quality financial services to the poor. Because of this, and our ongoing dedication to best practices and the constant search for improvement, we look to become the standard-bearers for responsible and innovative microfinance.
I’m deeply proud to be the Chairman of the MCWG and I look forward to many successful, collaborative years to come.