The 17th Microcredit Summit held in Merida, Mexico, last week discussed ways to better serve the next generation of clients and promote client-centred microfinance.
Top government officials, anti-poverty activists and multinational corporations from around the world took part in the summit on September 3-5.
The theme of the three-day event was Generation Next: Innovations in Microfinance.
The summit also discussed methods to adopt and utilise the next generation of technological innovations, cultivate the next generation of microfinance leaders and set up regulatory framework to promote innovation and cultivate transparency.
The summit was opened by Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal and Yucatan Governor Rolando Rodrigo Zapata Bello.
It engaged delegates in a discussion around the challenges and opportunities associated with the growth and transformation of the sector, especially through innovative and best practices that accelerate the steps to reach full financial inclusion.
Summit participants were asked to make campaign commitments to reach those living in extreme poverty and facilitate their movement out of poverty.
Yunus addressed a plenary session on 'Reaching the Excluded' and chaired two panel discussions -- Microfinance as Social Business and Turning Unemployment into Entrepreneurship.
Rodrigo Zapata Bello appointed the founder of Grameen Bank as his honorary economic adviser.
On the sidelines of the summit, Prof Yunus met with the executive director and other managers of the Arab Gulf Programme for Development, which has created eight microfinance banks in eight Middle East and North African countries, copying the Grameen Bank model.
Over 900 delegates from 75 countries, including 21 participants representing Grameen organisations, BRAC and Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation and others, took part, according to a statement from Yunus Centre in Dhaka yesterday.
The Microcredit Summit Campaign is the largest global network of institutions and individuals involved in microfinance and it is committed to reaching 175 million of the world's poorest families with microfinance and helping 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty.
The programme was held with support of the economy ministry of Mexico and its national micro-enterprise financing programme, PRONAFIM.