> Posted by Val Ng
The Weissberg professorship in international studies at Beloit College was established in 1999 to provide a one-week on-campus residency each year for an individual who has made an important contribution to international understanding. It is designed to enrich the global perspective at Beloit College and allows for an extended period of exchange and interaction with respected active ‘players’ on the international stage as they examine some of the key issues of our time. The Weissberg professorship is underwritten and supported by Marvin Weissberg, a business leader and Beloit College parent.
Beloit College celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Weissberg Chair Program this year with Elisabeth Rhyne, managing director of the Center for Financial Inclusion at ACCION International. In class visits, public lectures and conference panels, Dr. Rhyne will be addressing the issue of Microfinance and its changing role in social and economic development.
I am Val Ng, a student at Beloit. All week, I will be posting discussion topics from Dr. Rhyne’s presentations as a way to promote an interactive exchange of ideas, and everyone’s comments, thoughts and feelings are welcome (and wanted!)
Some of the questions we might discuss include:
- What is the tension between microfinance as a social development strategy and microfinance as a business? What are the challenges that come along with this transition?
- Is it acceptable to make profit from the poor?
- Is there still social value in microfinance as a business?
- What is the impact of the financial sector crisis on microfinance?
- How have consumer protection principles (or lack thereof) affected the current situation?