Microfinance leadership workshop
The first offering of the new global Women's World Banking (WWB)
Centre for Microfinance Leadership began today in Colombo, Sri Lanka,
with SEEDS Chairman Dayananda Muthukumarana providing opening remarks.
SEEDS - the economic arm of Sarvodaya is a longtime member of WWB, a
thirty-year old network of leading microfinance institutions and banks
dedicated to the economic empowerment of women. The offering, Management
Development Training of Trainers, runs from November 16 to 21 and is
part of WWB's overarching commitment to developing the leadership and
management capacity of the microfinance industry worldwide.
The MasterCard Foundation and WWB established the global Centre for
Microfinance Leadership in response to critical changes in
microfinance-increased commercialization, decreased presence of women
staff at all levels of microfinance institutions, and rapid growth-that
demand skilled, trained leaders and managers. The Centre will work with
the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Creative Metier
Limited to design and deliver executive education programs focused on
cultivating principled, visionary leaders in microfinance. Management
Development Training of Trainers is designed specifically to help middle
managers clarify their roles and responsibilities, broaden their
perspectives and improve their strategic thinking through real-life
exercises that build on their technical skills in finance, credit and
human resource management.
"There is no doubt that the rapid evolution of the microfinance
industry demands that the capacity of its human resources develop with
equal speed," said Elizabeth Lynch, Manager of the Centre for
Microfinance Leadership, WWB. "Strong leaders and managers mean more
efficient, sustainable institutions that can better and more broadly
serve the needs of the poor. We are excited to be hosting this workshop
in Sri Lanka, a country where microfinance reaches so many poor
households but where there is still a critical need to invest in
capacity building of microfinance institutions."
"As a member of WWB's global network, we share a commitment to the
cultivation and development of strong microfinance leaders who will help
to shape the industry's future," said SEEDS Chairman Dayananda
Muthukumarana. "Developing highly qualified leaders is a challenge for
every organization, and the Centre's highly selective workshops like the
one offered first here in Sri Lanka help to address that challenge,
leading to a healthier, more robust industry capable of serving the
hundreds of millions of people who still lack access to microfinance."
The Women's Development Federation (WDF) Advisory Board Chairman W.
G. Mithraratne said, "One of the greatest challenges we MFIs face is
locating qualified leaders and managers who are dependable, trustworthy,
and able to set good examples for future leaders just entering the
sector. Through this kind of development workshop, existing leaders will
be able to deepen their leadership experience and learn more about the
skills they need to lead well and successfully prepare for challenges
Additional leadership programs organized by the Centre include 'Women
in Leadership,' aimed at women CEOs and senior managers; 'Advanced
Leadership,' aimed at men and women leaders of the top 200 microfinance
institutions; and one-on-one coaching for a small cadre of leaders with
the greatest potential to effect change. The first 'Women in Leadership'
workshop is planned for January 2010 in Bangalore, India.
The global efforts of the Centre are part of WWB's long-term
strategic initiatives of improving organizational effectiveness and
promoting leadership development, particularly of women, throughout the