Microfinance versus Money Lending: Why the future of microfinance depends on the definition of “success”

Event Date: 
March 16, 2011 - 12:00pm

Waters Building
David Cassard Conference Room
161 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 301


Once hailed as the “silver bullet” to end poverty, microfinance recently has come under fire.  HOPE President Peter Greer takes a look at the changing perception of microfinance from the time Bangladeshi professor Muhammad Yunus began his pioneering work to the recent crisis in India.

Short bio of the speaker

Peter Greer is President of HOPE International, a global non-profit organization focused on alleviating both physical and spiritual poverty through microenterprise development in some of the most challenging places around the world, including Afghanistan, DR Congo, and Haiti.  Under Peter’s leadership, HOPE has expanded its network from 3 to 14 countries and now serves 270,000 active clients.  Peter is also the Co-founder and Executive Director of HOPE Global Investment Fund, a microfinance investment fund targeting underserved regions of the world.

Peter was formerly employed by World Relief, serving as a microfinance advisor in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He later managed Rwanda’s URWEGO Community Banking, which was recognized as the “best microfinance institution in Rwanda” by the United Nations.  Peter also worked with CARE Zimbabwe and implemented fraud protection measures in cooperation with Harvard University’s Carr Center of Human Rights. 

Peter received his undergraduate education in International Business from Messiah College and completed a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School, with a concentration in Political and Economic Development.  In addition to Peter’s nearly 10 years of experience in microfinance and executive education at Harvard Business School, he has presented at Harvard’s International Development Conference, and has served as a lecturer at Southern New Hampshire University’s School of Community Economic Development, working with practitioners from 30 different countries. Peter has co-authored the first faith-based book on microfinance with Phil Smith, “The Poor Will Be Glad” (Zondervan, 2009).

Peter resides in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with his wife, Laurel, and three children.