Queen Sofía of Spain and Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus Open Global Microcredit Summit 2011
VALLADOLID, SPAIN (Nov. 14) — The Queen of Spain joined Nobel Laureate and Grameen Bank Founder Muhammad Yunus, Spanish Secretary of State for Development Cooperation Soraya Rodriguez Ramos, Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Trinidad Jiménez García-Herrera and nearly 2,000 delegates from more than 90 countries in Valladolid, Spain, for the opening ceremony of the Global Microcredit Summit 2011.
The author on the plenary paper about the development of the Seal of Excellence for Poverty Outreach and Transformation in Microfinance also presented her work, as part of a panel with representatives from the steering committee in a plenary chaired by Manuel Méndez del Río Piovich, president of the Fundación Microfinanzas BBVA in Spain. Representatives from the committee on this panel discussion included Isabel Cruz Hernandez, president of the Foro Latinoamericano y del Caribe de Finanzas Rurales (FOROLACFR) in Mexico; Anne Hastings, CEO of Fonkoze Financial Services in Haiti; Christopher Dunford, Senior Research Fellow at Freedom from Hunger in the U.S.; and John de Wit, Managing Director of The Small Enterprise Foundation (SEF) in South Africa.
“The idea of a Seal of Excellence in microfinance is to set a vision for the sector in terms that highlight the potential of microfinance to serve the poor and to contribute to a positive transformation in the lives of clients and their families and communities,” wrote the report’s author Frances Sinha. “A Seal would also provide a means of identifying and recognizing microfinance institutions (MFIs) that are implementing this vision using objective criteria based on a double-bottom-line ethos that underscores both the social and financial performance of MFIs. This idea is increasingly relevant today as recent developments — even crises — in some countries have demonstrated the risks of concentrating on the single bottom line of growth and financial performance alone.”
The Microcredit Summit Campaign aims to reach 175 million of the world’s poorest families by 2015 and ensure that 100 million of those families move above the World Bank’s $1.25-a-day poverty threshold.