Microfinance: Revolution or Footnote? Microfinance Over the Next Ten Years
In this webinar, we explore important questions about the future of microfinance. Our invited speakers Ira Lieberman, Chairman and CEO of LIPAM International and Paul DiLeo, Founder and President of Grassroots Capital Management Corp, discuss key takeaways from a two-day workshop held at Lehigh University’s Martindale Center with 34 leaders from the global microfinance community.
The discussion aims to answer the following questions:
- What is the current state of microfinance? How did we get here?
- What lessons can other financial service provides learn from the microfinance journey?
- Will MFIs be displaced by more innovative technologies and business models?
- What role can investors and others play in making sure that microfinance supports the Sustainable Development Goals?
Paul DiLeo is the Founder of Grassroots Capital Management PBC and has over three decades of experience in development finance and 20 years of experience in the microfinance sector. Paul has worked extensively in Russia, Nicaragua, India, Argentina, Bosnia and many other countries.
Paul led equity investments in microfinance institutions in India and Bangladesh as early as 2001 and to date has managed or advised funds that have invested equity in 35 microfinance companies. In 2003 DiLeo helped launch and managed the first private, for-profit microfinance fund of funds, the Gray Ghost Microfinance Fund, which invested $100 million in 23 microfinance investment vehicles. Since founding Grassroots in 2007, Paul has gone on to help launch and / or manage debt and equity funds in India, Africa and Latin America, include three of the top ten “2016 Best of the World” GIIRS rated funds.
Prior to his work in microfinance, Paul was instrumental in setting up a U.S. government-backed investment fund in Russia and managed international advisory engagements for Shorebank Corporation. DiLeo started his career with the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts, an MS in Economics from Boston University and a certificate in business accounting and finance from New York University.
Ira W. Lieberman
Dr. Ira W. Lieberman has over four decades of international development and private sector experience. He is currently Chairman and CEO of LIPAM International, Inc., an advisory firm that works with governments, international financial institutions, NGOs and the private sector in developing and transition countries.
Ira has held several board positions for major institutions that serve the microfinance sector. He also taught on Governance at the Boulder Microfinance Institute for 10 years and has published extensively on several areas of microfinance and SMEs.
In 1995, Ira started the secretariat for the Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest (CGAP), serving the World Bank and 26 other donor institutions and foundations, and managed CGAP as its CEO from 1995 to 1999. He also served as acting director of the World Bank Group’s SME Department and chaired the Donor Committee for Small Business.
Between 2003 and 2004, Ira served as Senior Economic Advisor to George Soros and helped the Open Society Institute (the Soros Foundation) to expand their microfinance and small business activities.
Ira holds a BA from Lehigh University, Magna Cum Laude, an MBA from Columbia University and a D.Phil. (Ph.D.) from Oxford University.