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Sustainable Financing: How Capital Markets are Changing Microfinance

Nov 08, 2007
institutional sponsor: 
United States Agency for International Development


On November 8, 2007 Lauren Clark of MicroVest, Marc de Sousa-Shields of Enterprising Solutions, Cynthia Schollard of FINCA International and Camilla Nestor of Grameen Foundation presented “Sustainable Financing: How Capital Markets are Changing Microfinance.” The seminar was the 18th installment in the USAID Microenterprise Development office After Hours Seminar Series.


Lauren Clark

Lauren coordinates the marketing, public relations, investor relations and web publications for MicroVest.

She previously interned for FINCA International, supporting operations at their headquarters in Washington DC and assisting their branch office in Haiti. Lauren also spent time researching the local microfinance industry and credit unions in the North of Cameroon. She actively serves on the Steering Committee for the Washington DC chapter of Women Advancing Microfinance (WAM). She graduated from Tufts University with a BA in Economics and International Relations, regionally focused in Africa. She is fluent in French and speaks several African languages

Marc de Sousa-Shields
Enterprising Solutions

Marc provides advisory services on SME and MFI finance, technical assistance to SME development programs and direct technical assistance to SMEs.

He also manages Enterprising Solutions research practice. Marc has worked for over fifteen years in economic development initiatives internationally, serving a range of clients including the World Bank, the IFC, IADB and USAID. Marc has assisted in the creation of numerous innovative small enterprise investment initiatives, and has also worked at a senior level for banks and financial cooperatives. Much of his consulting work focuses on exploring how to harness conventional and social investments from the North to finance socially responsible MFIs and SMEs in emerging markets.

Cynthia Schollard
FINCA International

Cynthia oversees the capital markets operations for the twenty-two affiliates in the FINCA network.

The Capital Markets group coordinates the financial planning and funding operations of the affiliates and handles all investment negotiations, deal structurings and closings. She joined FINCA two years ago bringing her experience of many years in commercial banking and debt trading for emerging markets. Prior to joining FINCA she worked for various commercial banks in London and New York.

Camilla Nestor
Grameen Foundation

Camilla has over 12 years of experience in microfinance and commercial banking.

Before joining Grameen in 2005, she was an associate in Citigroup’s Structured Corporate Finance Department where she executed credit-enhanced debt financings for emerging markets firms in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She has also worked for Catholic Relief Services, overseeing the start-up, growth and management of MFIs. She spent five years working with microfinance institutions while based in Southeast Asia and the Balkans. Camilla holds an MBA and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University. She speaks Bahasa Indonesia and is conversant in French.