The Microfinance CEO Working Group (MCWG) welcomes a new member to their international collaboration, Jesse Fripp, General Manager of the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM). AKAM reaches nearly one million low-income households and small business borrowers and savers across 10 countries in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, lending over $300 million per year into these local economies. Geneva-based Fripp joins the Working Group’s efforts to support the positive development of the microfinance industry, so the field can reach its full potential of bringing responsible microfinance and related services to those who have been traditionally excluded.
Scott Brown, Chair of the MCWG and President and CEO of VisionFund International, said, “We are delighted AKAM will join our collaborative effort to reach financially underserved populations. With two billion people still without access to the formal financial system globally, it is essential that the industry comes together to maximise resources and information in order to reach those living in poverty and looking for a way out. AKAM’s membership will strengthen our abilities, both as a group and as ten individual institutions, to improve lives in some of the harshest environments.”
The Microfinance CEO Working Group advocates in support of responsible microfinance and championing promising ideas and solutions for the industry. Today, the Working Group’s networks collectively reach 72 million active clients via 260 microfinance institutions in 73 countries and 6 million clients via savings groups in 49 countries around the world. The Working Group seeks to create a more financially inclusive world using its expertise in the delivery of microfinance services to collaborate with those best positioned to scale access to quality financial services. The collective expertise of the MCWG members covers the delivery of financial services to low-income clients through microfinance and digital financial services; they strengthen communities through offerings in capacity building in the areas of financial literacy, business development services, and health services, among others.
Fripp is the General Manager of the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, the leading financial inclusion agency of the Aga Khan Development Network. For more than 60 years, various agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network have offered microfinance services, these activities were formalized, establishing microfinance institutions out of some of its most mature programs, launching the Agency for Microfinance in 2005. The mission of the Aga Kahn Agency for Microfinance is to affect demonstrable, measurable, and lasting improvement in the quality of life of its clients by delivering appropriate financial services to diminish the vulnerability of the disadvantaged and enable economic and social inclusion.
“It is my pleasure to transmit on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, our happiness on the occasion of AKAM’s inclusion as an active member of the Microfinance CEO Working Group,” said Prince Rahim Aga Khan, Chairman of AKAM’s Executive Committee. “Through AKAM’s participation in the MCWG, we look to ensure that complementary financial, knowledge, regulatory, and enabling environment resources be available to enable realization of our common objectives.”
Fripp joins the following leaders from the member organizations of the Microfinance CEO Working Group: Michael Schlein, President and CEO of Accion; Shameran Abed, Director of Microfinance at BRAC; Christian Pennotti, Director of CARE Access Africa; Rupert Scofield, President of FINCA International; Steve Hollingworth, President and CEO of Grameen Foundation; Vicki Escarra, Global CEO of Opportunity International; Maria Cavalcanti, President and CEO of Pro Mujer; Chair Scott Brown, President and CEO of VisionFund International; and Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking.