Articles by Sam Mendelson
Bringing Technology to Microfinance in the Age of Data Scandals: European Microfinance Award Seeks Solutions
Fintech advances are often heralded for bringing financially excluded people into the mainstream. But Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent appearance before Congress is a stark reminder of the need for protection from – along with access to – technology. This year's European Microfinance Award is seeking organizations whose tech-enabled financial solutions place client protection at the forefront.
Only 2 percent of microfinance portfolios consist of housing loans. Why? The authors say it's because housing languishes in the “household spending” category; it's not income generating, so it's somehow less deserving. It will soon be in the spotlight, however, as the eighth European Microfinance Award focuses on what financial institutions serving the world’s poor can do to address their housing needs.
The Most Powerful Weapon for Changing the World: How Microfinance Institutions Can Increase Access to Education
Nelson Mandela described education as the “most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” But how can we increase access to quality education for children and adults? The author maintains that governments and the philanthropic sector can play a role, but there's also a practical need for private financial resources to support education access.
European Microfinance Week is a major annual event featuring high level, in-depth discussions by all sectors of the European microfinance community. The conference, which will take place Nov. 18th – 20th in Luxembourg, will welcome over 400 top professionals in the industry, from several dozen countries. NextBillion will be a media partner at the event, providing live tweeting, blog coverage and interviews with key participants.
- Impact Assessment
After a natural disaster or other crisis, like Nepal’s recent earthquake, the relief and aid community inevitably plays a major role. But according to Sam Mendelson, there is also a vital role for microfinance, which can help restore livelihoods and provide resilience to vulnerable populations thanks to existing relationships with clients that foreign NGOs lack.
- Impact Assessment