By: Sarah Driver
VisionFund Advocate Attends All Party Parliamentary Group on Microfinance
VisionFund, represented by Sarah Driver our new UK Advocate, attended a select All Party Parliamentary Group on Microfinance at the House of Commons. Together with senior representatives from DFID (the UK Department for International Development), other NGOs, commercial sector microfinance specialists, academics and parliamentarians they discussed the following key question: "Is commercialisation undermining the social vision of microfinance?"
Attendees agreed that commercialisation of the market has had its benefits, not least in raising much needed money. However, there remains the need to consider the social objectives of microfinance to ensure that a real, sustainable and permanent difference is made in the lives of those that borrow. It was noted that VisionFund’s focus on serving the rural poor was meeting a real need, as this is an area not reached by most commercial lenders. The holistic approach, including social impact and community services, was also seen as a uniquely positive element of World Vision's microfinance work.