Fall 2015 Events

30 September 2015 
12:00 MCC (Stokes 106)

Social Entrepreneur
Ty Burrowbridge of Supermighty

Why My Startup Died Trying to #CrossyRoad 

Burrowbridge Poster rev

part of Harnessing the Market for Good

The Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing Speaker Series  sponsored by Haverford MI3, the Department of Economics and the CCPA


Fall 2014 Events

Harnessing the Market for Environmental and Social Good

Haverford Impact Investing Speaker Series

Through the generous support of two alumnae, Haverford Mi3, the Department of Economics and the Center for Career and Professional Advising (CCPA) are jointly sponsoring a speaker series on Impact Investing bringing practitioners and thought leaders in the sector to Haverford. Impact Investors invest to generate both a financial return and a positive social benefit. They seek to deploy capital to address large social problems . There are many ways this is done, including  equity investments in early stage firms or the purchase of real assets to be held in trust and managed sustainably.

12 September 2014
Doug Pugliese, Director New Business Development, Private Wealth Management Group, SEI
“Getting a Job Is a Full Time Job”

II Speaker Series Poster Pugliese

Doug will be offering practical advice on the job search with an eye to  the loftier ambitions espoused in the theme of Impact Investing. “Young (and old) job seekers need to strike a balance between staying true to themselves and to their ideals (e.g., Polonius’ advice to Laertes in Hamlet).” Learn how to develop and shepherd your own commercial interests, whether capital or labor, so that you place yourself in a position to have a positive impact on the world.



Previous Events

11 April 2013
Dean Karlan, Yale, Innovations for Poverty Action

Karlin poster

Dean Karlin, Yale economist, founder of Innovation for Poverty Action (IPA) and co-author of More Than Good Intentions gave an engaging breakfast talk in the MCC that began with an ethical conundrum, discussed the latest findings on microfinance impacts (marginal benefits with no evidence of adverse effects on those at the tail end of the distribution) and ended with a challenge to students to critically assess development programs and demand careful outcomes studies such as the randomized control trials (RCT’s) that he and economists at J-Pal and FAI have been using to better design programs benefiting those in poverty.

28-29 March 2013 
U.S. Poverty, Microentrepreneurs and Microfinance: Needs, Responses and Prospects.

Slide for Side Projections v4

The Symposium brought together practitioners, policymakers and academics to look across the often “silo-ed” parts of the sector to assess both current and prospective access to finance among both households in poverty and microentrepreneurs. Day 1 focused on HH Finance and was led off by Jonathan Morduch of NYU and the Financial Access Initiative presenting early findings of the US  Financial Diaries Project. A panel on Products and Take Up followed with Katy Davis of Ideas42 and Gautam Nair of IPA. The final session of the day focused on Credit Cards and Credit History with Bob Hunt of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and Megan Kiesel of Clarifi. Day 2 began with Ira Lieberman and Jenifer Mudd’s analysis of the US Microfinance Sector. A panel focused on providers followed with Rohan Matthew of Intersect Fund, Toni Truehart of EnterepreneurWorks and Tammy Halevy of AEO participating. The final panel focused on Outcome and Impacts with Joyce Klein of FIELD and Hui Wen Chan of Citi Foundation.

The complete agenda can be found here:
MI3 Conference Agenda 2013.

6 February 2013 
Ira Goldstein
The Reinvestment Fund (FAI)

Goldstein Poster

In a lunch talk in the MCC, Ira Goldstein discussed the work of The Reinvestment Fund, a prominent Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that is located here in Philadelphia. TRF not only makes various types of loans in underserved areas, e.g., for grocery stores, energy retrofits, multi-family housing, etc., it has also developed a strong reputation for its research and community development consulting services that make use of cutting edge survey and mapping technologies.

10 October 2012 
Tim Ogden
Financial Access Initiative (FAI)

Ogden poster

In a lively talk in the KINSC peppered with the latest research from the Financial Access Initiative (FAI) and other sources, Tim discussed important governance issues for social ventures such as microfinance institutions that arise when they turned for funding to for-profit investors. How are competing, potentially conflicting goals balanced? How is mission to be preserved when there are tradeoffs between generating the returns to investors and serving clients? Tim noted that failure to deal effectively with such issues may well limit the future growth and success of social ventures.

25 April 2012
Leslie Benoliel (EntrepreneurWorks)


With Leslie Benoliel’s talk to the microfinance class and guests, we switched gears to look on our own doorstep at the MFI industry in the US. As executive director of an enterprise development agency and a board member of AEO, Leslie provided us with some context to microfinance as it works in the US, in specific, its size, the different players currently and historically, its challenges in developing a sustainable model, the regulatory environment and the role of technology. She also described the work of her organization here in Philadelphia, EntrepreneurWorks. With its focus on small business development in underserved areas, microfinance is just one of the services they offer. The loan portfolio is small and credit is primarily group based. Interestingly, the clients seem to value the interactions of the group itself as much as the loan.

5 April 2012
Judith Brandsma (MF Consultant – Middle East)

Judith Brandsma Event

Judith Brandsma discussed the challenge of working in microfinance in the Middle East, especially in the context of the constraints of Islamic banking and the repercussions of the Arab Spring. She showed a short, but astonishing video produced by a Yemeni MFI showing their clients and discussing the MFI’s response to the violence, destruction and turmoil of the situation in their country. More generally she provided explanations for why the sector has remained small and why loans relative to per capita incomes are the lowest among all regions. However, she saw potential in the development of saving products and emerging links to technology in certain countries.

2 March 2012
Leigh Carter & Natalie Damond (Fonkoze)


Leigh Carter and Natalie Damond met with the microfinance class in the more intimate setting of the Multicultural Center. They spoke about the work of Fonkoze, the largest MFI in Haiti and one of the most respected in the industry. Fonkoze has a broad approach to their efforts in poverty alleviation. While they are microfinance focused, they believe that credit, in itself, is not enough. Using the group organization of their lending methodology, they also provide education and other services to their clients. And, they recognize that not all of the poor are in a position to be able to use credit and discuss how their various programs fit in their conception of a stairway out of poverty. Getting into the nuts and bolts of the operations, they spoke of the difficulty in finding appropriate talent for their team, the challenges of balancing mission and sustainability, the hardships and safety concerns of working in the field, the need to constantly assess and analyze programs and client outcomes, etc. What was clear throughout the presentatio was a clear commitment of the organization to its clients and to continually improving its programs to better address their needs.

15 November 2011
Ira Lieberman (Co-founder CGAP)


Drawing on his long relationship with the industry and its leaders, Dr. Lieberman provided perspective on the commercialization strategy that has controversially re-shaped the sector over the last two decades. He laid out the arguments underlying this strategy, that only through commercialization can the sector can move away from the limitations of donor funding, tap private sector resources and grow to a scale sufficiently large to begin to address the huge need for credit among people in poverty. However, he recognized the drawback and spoke about the both the recent crisis in Andhra Pradesh and the backlash from the Compartamos IPO in Mexico.

4 October 2011
Sashi Selvendran, (MEDA)


A young professional who cut her teeth working with Grameen Foundation in its early days, Sashi spoke about her work with MEDA helping MFI clients in the field develop and market new savings products. She also discussed the MF sector within the broader context of AID and its limitations and pointed to a recent area of promise, collaborations between MFI’s and other AID projects, such as sanitation, to help families in poverty find ways to gather funds for large, but high impact purchases such as toilets.

9 March 2011
Jonathan Morduch (NYU, IPA)

While Morduch’s talk happened before the launch of MI3, he set the stage for bringing in high quality speakers who are pushing the frontier of our understandings of microfinance. Morduch discussed his research analyzing financial diaries drawn from samples of people in poverty in South Africa, India and Bangladesh. As described in Portfolios of the Poor, Morduch and his co-authors find, to their surprise, that these families rely on complex combinations of financial strategies, including joining savings clubs, buying funeral insurance, and acting as “money guards” for neighbors. The diarists did things that might seem irrational—borrowing in order to save; paying interest on savings. However, taking into account their unpredictable incomes, limited options in financial products and their own economic behaviors, these actions begin to make sense. Referring to this research, Tilman Ehrbeck of CGAP recently noted that perhaps what people in poverty need is “not so much a loan officer as a wealth manager.“