Microlumbia 5th Annual Microfinance Conference: “Redefining Microfinance: Driving Innovation in a Maturing Market”

April 10, 2012

Microlumbia Fund is a 501(c)3 organization run by Columbia Business School (CBS) students that provides growing microfinance institutions with pro-bono consulting services and debt capital while stimulating interest in the field among a new generation of future business leaders. Our mission is to help alleviate global poverty by providing the CBS community the means and opportunities to become lifelong contributors to the field of microfinance. For CBS students, we offer education, investment management and consulting opportunities. For microfinance organizations, we offer much-needed financing and technical assistance.

For more information, please visit

Panel: Innovation- Frontier Products
What are the frontier products being designed for microfinance clients and how are these improving the beneficiaries’ financial situation?

Microfinance’s previous “one size fits all” approach does not reflect very diverse needs of the underserved households. They are in need of financial services to build assets, manage risk and daily cash flows, and to take advantage of income generation opportunities. Currently, microfinance is their only option, but what other financial products can be available for poor households? Savings accounts and health insurance programs are just a few. Where is the innovation happening and where are MFIs being innovative to meet the needs of underserved households?

• Camilla Nestor, Vice President of Microfinance Programs at Grameen Foundation
• Rajendra Poudyal, Administrative Manager of PlaNet Finance Nepal
• Alexandra Fiorillo,
Vice President, Ideas42
• Inez Murray, Executive Vice President Programs
Women’s World Banking

• Suresh Sundaresan, Chase Manhattan Bank Professor of Economics and Finance at Columbia Business School

Panel: The Challenge of Raising Funds
Impact Investments – Why Americans Are Not Biting and What We can Do About It

Raising funds from U.S. investors for microfinance and other social impact businesses is a big challenge today. Outstanding projects with great potential to change the lives of underserved population segments are often short-lived due to lack of funding. How can we work together on different fronts to produce long-term solutions?

• Roger Frank, formerly at Developing World Markets
• Christina Juhasz, Director, Capital Markets Group, Women’s World Banking
• Steve Zausner, formerly at FMA Capital Partners
• Scott Budde, Managing Director in TIAA-CREF’s Asset Management Division

• Howard J. Finkelstein, Attorney at The Law Offices of Howard J. Finkelstein