The second Colombian Microfinance Congress will begin Thursday March 31, in Santa Marta, Dinero reported Wednesday.
Top executives in the microfinance industry from Colombia, the U.S., Spain, Peru and El Salvador will attend the conference which will take place from March 31 to April 1 at the Hotel Irotama in Santa Marta, the capital of the Magdalena department.
The event, organized by Asomicrofinanzas, the microfinance union, is expected to attract 200 attendees. One of the speakers is Dr Manuel Mendez del Piovich, president of the Microfinance Foundation of BBVA Spain, who will talk about corporate governance.
Microfinance exists to provide financial services, particularly loans, to those who are deprived of them – the poor. But microfinance is not just charity, its also good business. The theory is that small, poor entrepreneurs would make good debtors if only they’re given the chance. They work hard, and if you lend them a small amount of money they’ll know better than any aid agency how to invest it, and be able to pay it back – with interest. The thing that they lack is collateral.
There will numerous presentations at the conference addressing issues such as the state of the microfinance industry, the opportunities it presents for Latin America, challenges for the industry in 2011, and price transparency in Colombia.
The event is being headed by the Governor of Magdalena Manuel Jose Bonet Locarno, the Mayor of Santa Marta Juan Carlos Diaz Granados, Superintendent of Economic Solidarity Jesus Enrique Valderrama and the President of the Board of Asomicrofinanzas, Gregorio Mejia.