Program FAQs

1. Who should apply to the program?
The program is intended for senior executives of major microfinance institutions, industry-related policymakers, investors, and leaders of financial institutions. Selective enrollment of the most qualified and diverse group from the pool of candidates enhances the learning experience for participants and the takeaway value for their supporting organizations. Participants will represent a large variety of cultural and geographic backgrounds. If you are concerned about your fit for the program, please contact us at

2. How long will it take to learn whether I’ve been accepted into the program?
The deadline to submit an application is January 21, 2020. Applicants are typically informed whether they’ve been accepted in February 2020. If you are concerned about the time it takes to obtain a visa, please contact us at

3. Are there scholarships available to pay for the full cost of the program?
The Citi Foundation provides a limited number of partial scholarships to participants who otherwise cannot attend because of the cost. Please note that we are unable to offer scholarships to all applicants who apply. If you would like to apply for a scholarship, please indicate so in the application.

4. What’s included in the program cost?
The program cost includes all housing and meals during the program as well as administrative fees. The tuition does not include airfare, incidentals and meals outside of the program dates or off of the Harvard campus. For questions please contact us at

6. Can I come for part of the program?
The HBS and Accion policy is to accept participants who can attend the entire program. The program design builds lessons based on each case study, discussion group, and classroom discussion. Therefore, the goals of the program are best achieved through full participation by all participants.

7. Can I stay off-campus?
The program is designed to create an atmosphere of strong engagement and relationship building among the participants and HBS staff. The policy requires all participants to stay on campus.

8. Can I bring someone with me, e.g., a spouse or friend?
Due to the nature of the program and the single-occupancy accommodation, spouses and/or friends are not allowed to stay on campus with participants.

9. What are the accommodations while I attend the program?
Single-occupancy rooms located on-campus are included in the program tuition fee. Each room is equipped with a desktop computer with high-speed internet access. Each room also has a private bathroom with toiletries included. HBS encourages participants from outside the USA to bring an adapter that can accommodate 120 volts.

10. What is the dress code?
HBS requests business casual dress for classes and meals during the program. Business casual attire includes, but is not limited to, open-neck, collared shirts or blouses and sweaters, khakis or other pressed pants, leather or casual walking shoes.

11. What airport should I fly to for the program?
Harvard Business School is located in Boston, Massachusetts. We recommend flying into Boston Logan International Airport.

12. How do I prepare for the program?
Once you’ve been accepted into the program and remitted payment, HBS will send you log-in credentials for the online program portal. All logistical information and pre-reading/ assignment requirements can be found on that portal.

13. What happens when the course is over?
After the program, you will receive an invitation to join the HBS-Accion Program Alumni LinkedIn page. You will also receive a one-year subscription to the Harvard Business Review, a photo of the HBS-Accion class, and a certificate of completion.

CFI will also contact program alumni for a program review, quotes to include on our website, as well as referrals for future programs. We also appreciate hearing from alumni regarding what they have learned in the course as it relates to their professional careers.


Visa FAQs

1. Do I need a visa to attend the program?
If you are located outside of the US and are not a US citizen, you will need to obtain a visa to enter the US for the HBS-Accion program.

2. What type of visa do I need to attend the program?
You must apply for a temporary B-1 visa. This is a temporary visitor visa that aligns with the invitation letter that HBS will send if you are accepted in the program.

Please note, program participants are not enrolled at Harvard University, and therefore, you should not apply for a student visa.

3. How long does it take to obtain a visa?
The wait time for a visa varies based on the type of visa and the country from which you are applying. Please visit the following website to learn the expected timeframe:

4. Who provides an invitation letter for the visa process?
HBS will send an invitation letter to all the accepted participants. This invitation letter can be used for the visa process to validate an applicant’s request.

5. The visa letter I received has the incorrect employer listed as a sponsor. What should I do?
If the invitation letter you received has the incorrect sponsor listed, please inform Accion. We will ask HBS to update the information and resend to your email address. This typically takes a few days to process, so please review the materials for accuracy as soon as receive them.

6. How much does it cost to obtain a visa to enter the United States?
The cost to obtain a US visa will vary depending on the country in which you currently reside. Please check with your local embassy.

7. Where can I find additional information about US visas?
Please review the following website to learn additional information about the US visa process and options available: While we are not technical experts on the visa process, we can answer a limited range of questions.

8. Are there certain restrictions?
Yes, HBS does recognize certain restrictions enacted by the US Government. If you are concerned about your ability to attend the program due to any country restriction, please contact us and we will check any applicable restrictions.


Stay informed. Subscribe to our newsletter.