The HBS–Accion Program on Strategic Leadership in Inclusive Finance is the first executive education program to provide high-level management and leadership training to those shaping the microfinance industry, including CEOs of leading microfinance institutions and executives of mainstream banks entering the microfinance market. The HBS–Accion Program is part of the HBS Social Enterprise Initiative. Leading the program are HBS faculty members V. Kasturi Rangan, co-chair of the Social Enterprise Initiative and recent chair of the Marketing Department, and Michael Chu, senior lecturer in the Social Enterprise Initiative and recognized microfinance thought leader.
Given the increased interest of conventional commercial banks and other financial institutions in reaching the base of the pyramid, the course will begin with an intensive immersion into the microfinance industry and the operations of leading microfinance institutions, provided by HBS Faculty and experienced Accion practitioners. This will be particularly valuable for bankers who have recently entered the field. The program will then address fundamental challenges of doing business at the low-income segment of the financial sector, including:
succeeding in highly competitive financial sectors;
balancing a social focus in a commercial setting;
reaching new business segments; and
evolving products and delivery channels.
These topics will be explored in ways that are relevant not only for financial services providers, but also investors and regulators who are interested in helping to expand financial inclusion.
Participants will learn primarily through the case method approach, pioneered by HBS. Through guided case discussions, participants identify practical business lessons from the experiences of leading institutions and apply them to their own situations and organizations. At times, decision makers from the case studies will join participants in the classroom – on site or via video link – to engage in a live dialogue and explore the key concepts. The course will be taught in English, thus English fluency is a requirement.
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