Mifos at the Microcredit Summit for the First Time

Mifos Initiative is honored to be a part of the 18th Microcredit Summit in Abu Dhabi. With its theme of Frontier Innovations for Financial Inclusion, it was the perfect time for us to attend and tell the world our story and journey of transformation since we emerged from the Grameen Foundation. We have been a technology pioneer for microfinance, then financial inclusion, and how will the lead way for Financial Inclusion 2.0.

This is personally my first time at a Microcredit Summit event and of course the venue, the Etihad Towers at Jumeirah is impressive but the buzz and energy of 1000 delegates from 60 different countries is indescribable.

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The summit is off to a great start with a lot of activity at our booth including new faces and old that have stopped by to learn the latest on the Mifos Initiative and discover DreamStart Labs who is partnering with us to announce our joint commitment to the Microcredit Summit Campaign’s 100 Million project. We are announcing their launch of DreamSave, a mobile app to digitize recordkeeping for savings groups and help bring them to the next generation through linkages to formal banking, gamification, big data analytics, and tying into the digital financial services ecosystem. Apart from this commitment launch, Craig Chelius, Mifos Executive Director will be speaking during the Breakout Session, the Digital Revolution & Financial Inclusion.

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We’ve got a lot to look forward to with our panel and the commitment cafe chat on Tuesday along with full calendar of meetings but let’s take a look back on Day 1.

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The Welcome Ceremony featured its share of dignitaries from the UAE and GCC countries and their noble commitments to entrepreneurship and ICT development. Queen Sophia of Spain closed the ceremony and continued her presence which goes all the way back to her participation in the first Microcredit Summit in 1997.

IMG_2826IMG_2824The highlight of the morning was of our course Professor Muhammad Yunus and his calm and measured advice for the world at large:

  • “Microcredit is a challenge to the financial system to redesign itself, and not be for the rich. Microcredit can help people discover their own talent, their own creativity”
  • “Human beings are not born to work for someone else. Taking a job is like clipping one’s wings. Don’t be job seekers, be job creators.”

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He closed with a commitment to 3 zeroes that can help us achieve the Millennium Sustainability Goals around poverty:

  1. Zero poverty in the world
  2. Zero unemployment
  3. Zero net carbon emission.

With these zeroes we can unleash their capacity and create poverty museums…

As we push forward to a new era of Financial Inclusion 2.0, we are ready to be a key leader and enabler in leading the next generation of technology that will guide the sector into the digital financial services ecosystem. It is only via open platforms, cloud-based technology that is mobile-ready and connected to digital payments, that we can achieve Yunus’ vision of Poverty Museums.

 

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