The Microfinance CEO Working Group is a collaborative effort by numerous leading international organizations that promote microfinance around the world.
In early 2011, an informal group of industry leaders began to meet to discuss the state of the microfinance sector as it matures and encounters new challenges. Participants quickly discovered a shared perspective on the future of the microfinance industry – one rooted in high standards, client orientation, and collective action.
The Working Group seeks to work together to support the positive development of its member organizations and the microfinance industry at large. Its members will advocate in favor of responsible microfinance practices and commit to upholding their organizations to the highest standards.
The Microfinance CEO Working Group was launched by the CEOs of eight leading microfinance organizations. The Working Group meets monthly and is chaired by Mary Ellen Iskenderian of Women’s World Banking and Rupert Scofield of FINCA International.
The members of the Microfinance CEO Working Group are:
President and CEO, Accion
President and CEO, FINCA
Working Group Founding Co-Chair
President, Freedom from Hunger
President and CEO, Grameen Foundation
Board Chair, Opportunity International
President and CEO, Pro Mujer
President and CEO, VisionFund
Mary Ellen Iskenderian
President and CEO, Women's World Banking
Working Group Founding Co-Chair
The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion currently serves as secretariat for the Microfinance CEO Working Group, providing administrative and support services.
The Microfinance CEO Working Group structures its efforts around four activities:
- Advocacy: Speak publicly to highlight the important work being done by the microfinance industry and to support initiatives that aim to strengthen the sector.
- Institution Strengthening: Become standard bearers for responsible and innovative microfinance through the implementation of best practices and a continual search for improvement.
- Industry Strengthening: Foster the development and implementation of strong standards for performance that ensure the delivery of high quality products and services for the poor.
- Relationship Building: Serve as a resource for discussion, information sharing, and collaboration among leaders of pioneering microfinance organizations.
The Working Group’s initial work has focused around support for three industry initiatives that are playing a major role in advancing commitment and capacity to responsible microfinance:
- The Smart Campaign: A global campaign committed to embedding client protection practices into the institutional fabric of the microfinance industry, The Smart Campaign has been endorsed by over 2,700 institutions and individuals since its launch in 2009.
- MFTransparency: MicroFinance Transparency serves as public forum for microfinance institutions to demonstrate their commitment to pricing transparency and integrity.
- The Social Performance Task Force: The SPTF is an ambitious effort by more than 1,000 stakeholders to develop common tools for measuring and managing social performance. This summer, it will release “Universal Standards for Social Performance Management” that will guide organizations as they work to translate their missions into reality.