ACCION International Joins with Harvard Business School in Second Annual Microfinance Leadership Program

Boston, MA,  April 12, 2007

The Harvard Business School-ACCION Program on Strategic Leadership for Microfinance convenes this week on the HBS campus in Boston for the second consecutive year, bringing 68 microfinance leaders together from 32 countries.

Developed by HBS faculty and Boston-based microfinance pioneer ACCION, the intensive one-week training course is assembling senior executives of major microfinance institutions from five continents, as well as industry-related policymakers, investors and leaders of financial institutions, in order to study best practices in strategic thinking and business management.

The maturation of microfinance has placed increasing demands on its leaders, who today must achieve not only high levels of efficiency and return, but also manage new challenges brought on by their own success: traditional and non-traditional competition, branding, institutional evolution, executive team development, equity investment, mergers and acquisitions, risk management, and maintenance of social focus within a commercial environment  The HBS-ACCION program is a unique opportunity for microfinance leaders to examine these issues in the company of industry peers, under the tutelage of some of the foremost thinkers and practitioners in the field of business strategy and management.

The program is taught by distinguished HBS faculty, including Tarun Khanna, F. Warren McFarlan, John A. Quelch, William A. Sahlman, Robert Simons, and Peter Tufano. HBS faculty members V. Kasturi Rangan, co-chair of the school’s Social Enterprise Initiative, and Michael Chu, a leading microfinance specialist, co-chair the program.

For more information on the HBS-ACCION Program, please visit

About Harvard Business School
Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School ( is located in Boston and offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and doctoral degrees, as well as more than 40 Executive Education programs. With a faculty of more than 200 distinguished scholars, the School is dedicated to educating leaders who make a difference in the world. Its core focus is to shape the practice of business, build enduring knowledge, and effectively communicate important ideas. Harvard Business School is the world’s largest producer of business cases, a method of teaching pioneered by the School in the 1920s.

About ACCION International
ACCION International is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission of giving people the financial tools they need—microenterprise loans, business training and other financial services— to work their way out of poverty.  A world pioneer in microfinance, ACCION was founded in 1961 and issued its first microloan in 1973 in Brazil.  ACCION International’s partner microfinance institutions today are providing loans as low as $100 to poor men and women entrepreneurs in 23 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, and in the U.S.  In the last decade alone, ACCION partners have disbursed more than 14 million loans totaling more than $9.4 billion; 97 percent of the loans have been repaid.  Selected for the fourth consecutive year for its pioneering approaches to poverty alleviation, ACCION was among 43 organizations awarded the 2006 Social Capitalist Award by Fast Company magazine. ACCION has also been awarded Charity Navigator’s highest rating— four stars— for efficiency and sound fiscal management.  For more information,

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Media Contacts:

Caroline Mauldin
Communications Associate
ACCION International

Kerry Parke
Assistant Director of Media Relations
Harvard Business School

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