October 25, 2013 – Colette van der Ven
On October 18, 2013, LIDS held its annual symposium, this year focusing on the linkages and tensions between trade, development, and entrepreneurship. With sponsorship from the law firms of Allen & Overy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Sidley Austin, and Skadden, as well as the Harvard Milbank Tweed Fund and the Harvard International Legal Studies Program, the event was a great success and drew over 100 attendees!
The day-long event was kicked off by Abhijit Banerjee, who provided a powerful keynote address challenging popular understandings of entrepreneurship. Professor Banerjee’s address was followed by two panels: the first focused on barriers to scaling-up entrepreneurship, and the second addressed how to better connect micro-level problems to macro-level trade policy.
Professor Banerjee spoke about the challenges of entrepreneurship amongst the poor and whether entrepreneurship amongst the poor really creates a pathway for growth. He highlighted the importance of differentiating between survival-driven entrepreneurship and growth-driven entrepreneurship and drew attention to the fact that when the poor receive micro-credit loans, they often don’t use it to expand the business but, just like the middle class, buy comfort items instead, like TVs or motorcycles.
The first panel, moderated by Simon Winter, Senior Vice President at Technoserve, … Read More »
November 18, 2011 – Amreeta Mathai
If you’ve been wondering how to embark upon a legal career in microfinance – the perennial hot topic in international development – you’ll be interested to know what the panelists in LIDS’ recent careers event had to say.
The panelists included Austin Choi – General Counsel for Kiva, Deborah Drake – Vice President at the Center for Financial Inclusion at ACCION International and Jennifer Chien – Policy Consultant at CGAP/World Bank Group. Below you’ll find an edited transcript of the panelists’ responses to questions about their careers and what they look for in prospective employees.
Q: Can you tell us about your organizations?
Choi: Kiva is a personal microlending platform. Our mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. We work with on the ground microfinance institutions. These institutions post their clients’ project profiles on our website and people who visit the website can lend.
Drake: ACCION International is a network non-profit. We work with non-profits, finance companies and other types of finance institutions to support the growth of financial organizations that provide access to credit to low income and impoverished communities around the world.
Chien: The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) is not a microfinance institution. We are more like a think tank … Read More »