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The 2012 Calgary Microcredit Conference - An Event You Don't Want to Miss
Category: Microcredit | By RotaryGlobal, 19-Sep-2012 | Viewed 6315  Comments 0
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
While microcredit is fairly well established in the international realm, microcredit has spread to North American communities Canada and the USA. Why you might ask, would the wealthiest nations on earth require small loans and related financial services? That is but one question we hope to address on Saturday 13 October 2012 at the Calgary Microcredit Conference. More than a dozen presenters will delve deeply into the needs of those at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid and show how those needs are being addressed through microcredit.

If you have ever imagined starting a microcredit bank or have plans to donate to or invest in one, the Conference is a good place to advance your knowledge. Through meeting industry spokespersons and learning about their best practices you will be better informed plus you will leave with a wealth of contact information. A feature will be the day-ending Bear Pit session where your questions will be answered along with the thought provoking inquiries of others.

While not exclusive to Rotarians, folks that like to see anti-poverty measures that really work, especially those that avoid the donor dependency techniques of simplistic handouts, invariably like the self-help processes of microcredit. Rather, by providing a hand up and not a hand out, borrowers have responded with an amazing repayment record (97%) usually repaying on time with interest. Microfinance Institutions like FINCA or NWTF initiate the trust network but it is the borrowers who support each other, often through loan cross guarantees that do the real work of value - building communities.

At the Calgary Danish Club, the inviting "club" atmosphere will be used to divide the day's presentations into an upstairs / downstairs theme of International and Domestic microcredit. John Hatch Founder of FINCA, one of the world's largest microcredit organizations, will be the robust keynote speaker. As many as fifteen presenters,  ranging from FINCA, to the relatively new South West Alberta Community Loans Association are sure to cover your every area of interest. Designed with networking opportunities in mind, the day promises to be as entertaining as informative.

In but one example of a project to be presented at the Conference, the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation will, among other topics, discuss TeleMedicine. Using picture and questionnaire capturing features of the Android phone, health care workers send symptoms to doctors anywhere in the world. In turn they help the patients apply the prescribed remedies. This is a critical advantage for the more than 60% of the rural Filipino population that might otherwise never be examined by a doctor or trained health care worker.

From those who have attended the previous four Conferences we learned the following:

  • Students attend to learn and meet potential employers. 
  • Rotarians usually meet and greet, from other Clubs, those in similar committees. 
  • Folks both new to and experienced in microcredit, use the Conference to update their knowledge.
  • Display booths help visitors interact with all aspects of delivering microcredit and related financial services. 

In short, compelling speakers, excellent networking amongst like-minded people, and products that facilitate microcredit will combine on 13 October 2012 to become our biggest and best Conference, ever. 

The Rotarian-based Calgary Microcredit Conference Ltd. is a registered non profit corporation, designed to broaden & deepen knowledge about microcredit and its related financial services. Conference proceeds will be used in support of an application to bring to Calgary the 2016 International Microcredit Summit. Co-hosting the Conference are both the Rotarian Action Group for Microcredit and the D5360 Microcredit Task Force. Further details on the Calgary Microcredit Conference and registration ($90) are available at www.calgarymicrocreditconference.com or by contacting the conference coordinator Barb Briggs at briggsbarb@gmail.com or 403-287-0483.

Calgary, Alberta, Canada
We hope to see you in October!

Steve Rickard, PDG, Chair,
Calgary Microcredit Conference Ltd.

Calgary Microcredit Conference
Saturday October 13, 2012
Danish Canadian Club
8:30am - 5pm
Tickets: $90 - available online at www.calgarymicrocreditconference.com
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