The Microcredit Summit Campaign brings together microfinance practitioners, advocates, educational institutions, donor agencies, international financial institutions, non-governmental organizations and others involved with microfinance to promote best practices in the field, to stimulate the interchanging of knowledge and to work towards reaching our goals.

In 1997, the first Microcredit Summit launched a nine-year campaign to reach 100 million of the world’s poorest families, especially the women of those families, with credit for self-employment and other financial and business services by the year 2005. In November of 2006 the Campaign was re-launched to 2015 with two new goals: 1) to reach 175 million of the world’s poorest with microfinance and 2) to help 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty.

In addition to our goals, the Campaign has four core themes that focus not only on the number of clients reached but also on the quality of the practitioners’ work:

Reaching the Poorest

While we recognize the importance of financial inclusion for all overlooked by the traditional banking sector, the Campaign specifically focuses on reaching the poorest families. In developing countries these are families living below 50 percent of the poverty line. In industrialized countries the Campaign is focused on all of those living below their nation’s poverty line.

Empowering Women

Experience shows that women are a good credit risk, and that woman-run businesses tend to benefit family members more directly than those run by men. At the same time, through earning an income women achieve a higher status in their homes, their communities, and their nations.

Financial Self-Sustainability

Experience has shown that microcredit programs in developing countries can improve their efficiency by structuring their interest rates and fees to eventually cover their operating and financial costs. Though the economic context in industrialized countries is radically different, the Summit encourages programs in these countries to explore ways of becoming self-sufficient so that, to the greatest extent possible, their operating costs will be covered through direct revenue from program services.

A Positive, Measurable Impact

While financial measures such as program repayment rates give an indication of the strength of a microcredit institution, the Campaign is committed to programs having a positive, measurable impact on the lives of the very poor. The Campaign’s 100 Million Project is directly linked to this effort by promoting the use of and collecting data from, poverty measurement tools to enable MFIs to generate products and services that best help their clients move out of poverty.

Additionally, the Campaign is the administrative home of the industry initiative, Truelift. Truelift is a global initiative to push for accountability in pro-poor development. Truelift is a trust mark–in microfinance and other forms of social business–to signify commitment to positive and enduring change for people affected by conditions of poverty.

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PRONAFIM (the National Microenterprise Financing Program), established in 2001, is a government program under Mexico’s Ministry of Economy. PRONAFIM’S main objective is to support men and women who currently lack access to traditional banking and related services with income-generating activities and building entrepreneurial capacity. This is achieved through a network of financial institutions, to which PRONAFIM grants lines of credit to be used to provide microcredit to the target population.

PRONAFIM’s vision is to develop a stable and professional system of microfinance institutions that provide qualified and suitable microfinance services to individuals and groups, along with proper financial education, to ensure the use of microcredit as an instrument for welfare improvement.

In 2014, PRONAFIM is looking forward to making their social impact more tangible through three principle avenues:

  1. Geographic focus: PRONAFIM has a presence in more than 1,800 towns in the 32 states and will focus in the following priority zones in 2014: indigenous zones, areas defined by national strategies such as the “National Crusade against Hunger” and the “Social Prevention of Violence and Crime,” and areas barely covered today by the program.
  2. Gender Perspective: 90% of the program beneficiaries are women, owing to the goal of empowering women to make decisions that contribute effectively to the improvement of their life conditions through the success of their productive activity.
  3. Microcredit with financial education for development: In order for microcredit to be a transformative instrument in the microentrepreneur’s life, it is necessary to provide them with training of basic knowledge of credit management; this will lead them to invest properly and generate a sustained growth for their businesses.