About Us

MISSION & HISTORY

Over the last two years, Opportunity Fund and its partners have planned and convened two conferences—Microfinance California and Microfinance USA—in the San Francisco Bay Area to build and expand the field of microfinance in the United States. Participants, sponsors, and attendees have enthusiastically endorsed this conference as an event that serves a unique niche in the microfinance industry by fostering innovation and collaboration between microfinance practitioners, funders, and individual supporters. Moreover, each conference has attracted significant local and national coverage from top media outlets, making the case that microfinance produces jobs, increases incomes, and creates opportunities to build stable and sustainable communities. The increased attention and engagement is helping to expand the scale and scope of financial services available to disadvantaged small businesses across America.

In response to requests from the U.S. microfinance field to host the conference in different locations around the country, Microfinance USA will convene in New York in 2011 for the first time. Individuals, organizations, and funders on the East Coast will have the opportunity to engage with domestic microfinance and deepen the movement nationally. We expect the same energy and turnout demonstrated at our last conference, which brought together 700-800 investors, policymakers, social entrepreneurs, practitioners, students and microfinance enthusiasts to explore microfinance strategies and practices unique to the United States.

Join the exciting opportunity to attend Microfinance USA’s first year in New York City.

MICROFINANCE USA TEAM

Image of Opportunity Fund logo. Image of ACCION logo. Image of Kiva logo.

Executive Producer: Opportunity Fund
Producer: ACCION
Associate Producer: Kiva
Program Advisory Committee:
Michael Campbell, Counsel, Federal Reserve Bank of NY, Chair, NY City Bar Association Banking Law Committee
Elaine Edgcomb, Director, FIELD, The Aspen Institute
Azish Filabi, Counsel, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Gina Harman, President and CEO, ACCION USA
Giovanna Masci, Regional Director, The Americas, Kiva
Lisa Mensah, Executive Director, IFS, The Aspen Institute
Elisabeth Rhyne, Managing Director, Center for Financial Inclusion, ACCION International Chair
Jennifer Tescher, Director, Center for Financial Services Innovation
Eric Weaver, CEO, Opportunity Fund
Hilary Wilson, Silicon Valley Microfinance Network

Opportunity Fund is one of the largest providers of microloans and microsavings in the nation. Since making our first loan in 1995, Opportunity Fund has directed $172 million in community investment into the San Francisco Bay Area’s economically challenged neighborhoods, improving the lives of 12,000 households. Our mission is to advance the economic well-being of working people by helping them earn, save, and invest in their future. Our mix of products and programs, including real estate lending, enables us to take a comprehensive approach to community economic development, providing opportunities for people at each stage of the progression from poverty to self-sufficiency.

ACCION the leading microfinance network in the U.S., provides essential lending and financial education opportunities to small businesses nationwide. By empowering self-starters and creating jobs, ACCION elevates communities and fuels the economy from the ground up. Since 1991, ACCION has provided 35,000 loans—more than half of all microloans in the U.S.—to hardworking entrepreneurs and families lacking access to fairly priced capital. A champion of low-to-moderate income business owners, ACCION is committed to driving domestic microfinance and innovation forward to give millions of people a stake in the American Dream.

Kiva.org is the world's first personal micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the globe. Founded in 2005, Kiva.org's mission is to connect people, through lending, to alleviate poverty. Over 551,000 people have loaned more than $190 million to 495,000 entrepreneurs in 58 countries. Kiva.org is headquartered in San Francisco.