Drake to Host Free Lecture on Immigrants and Savings Groups

The Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship at Drake University will host a free lecture this month titled “Getting Ahead with Almost Nothing: What Immigrant Communities Can Teach Us About Achieving the American Dream.”

Jeffrey Ashe, a scholar and international microfinance expert, will deliver the lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, in Sussman Theater in the Olmsted Center, 2875 University Ave. The talk is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by The Solidarity Foundation, a non-profit which is based in Des Moines and operates savings groups in Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Des Moines. These savings-based microfinance tools, designed by Ashe in the early 2000’s, provide vulnerable populations with safe and affordable ways to save and borrow money. 

Ashe will discuss how immigrants are saving money in small groups using traditions brought with them from their home countries. Often excluded by banks, many immigrants take their financial future into their own hands through a network of informal financial systems. These systems thrive on individual discipline, group accountability, and mutual support, and they often create pathways to achieving the American dream. Ashe will address what immigrants can teach others about achieving the American dream, as well as how work in developing countries can build on these money management traditions.


Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2016