The MasterCard Foundation enables students to explore micro-entrepreneurship and financial inclusion at Toronto conference

TORONTO, Sept. 6, 2011 /CNW/ - Toronto International Microfinance Summit announced today The MasterCard Foundation is providing 100 college and university students with financial assistance to attend its conference at Toronto's Allstream Centre September 17, 2011. In its third year, the Summit is comprised of two events, a fundraising Gala (Sept 16) and the micro way Conference with a new MicroMarketplace (Sept 17). This year the theme is From Microfinance to Financial Inclusion: Making a Difference in our World. Topics include:

  • Financial Literacy, Youth Programs and First Nations
  • Mobile Banking, Technology and Investment Funds with impact
  • How microfinance enables global health initiatives
  • Rating Microfinance Institutions and Risk Management
  • Microfinance in conflict zones

"The Toronto International Microfinance Summit brings together thought leaders in the sector with both international and domestic expertise," says Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the MasterCard Foundation.  "The Summit is an important platform for knowledge-sharing and The MasterCard Foundation is proud to support students' attendance."

"Microfinance is the place where business and international development objectives intersect and social impact is achieved," adds Jim Louttit, Vice President of Toronto International Microfinance Summit and Rotarian Action Group for Microcredit Secretary.  "For the second year, The MasterCard Foundation is partnering with us so more students can learn about this powerful poverty reduction tool, interact with experts and get involved.

The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, will attend the Gala and bring greetings. 40 Summit speakers from 30 organizations on 5 continents include: Bob Annibale - Citi Microfinance; Vidar Jorgensen - Grameen America; Kadita (A.T.) Tshibaka - Opportunity International, Philip Smith - philanthropist and author;  Joyce Lehman - Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Michael Bowles - Aga Khan Foundation; Damien von Stauffenberg - MicroRate; Jeff Rayman - Secutor Capital; Dr. Tanjina Mirza - Plan Canada; Howard Weinstein - Solar Ear; Charles Belanger - FINCA; Francois Montour - CIDA; Tess Bayombong - CARE Canada; and Deborah Lindholm - Foundation for Women.

For tickets and more information, visit: Follow the Summit on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, take the micro walk on YouTube and try the NEW mobile app, coming soon.

Toronto International Microfinance Summit is Canada's premier event focusing on domestic and international microfinance.  This non-profit organization was founded in 2009 by Rotarian Action Group for Microcredit (RAGM) and Rotary District 7070 Microfinance Committee.  The Summit's signature Conference and Gala are run entirely by volunteers of diverse backgrounds and ages.  Our vision is a world without poverty through microfinance. Our mission is to educate people on microfinance - a formidable poverty reduction tool, create a forum for dialogue and raise funds for domestic and international microfinance projects and educational scholarships. Formerly the Summit was known as Toronto Microfinance Conference & Gala.

The MasterCard Foundation advances microfinance and youth learning to promote financial inclusion and prosperity.  Through collaboration with committed partners in 48 countries, The MasterCard Foundation is helping people living in poverty to access opportunities to learn and prosper.

An independent, private foundation based in Toronto, Canada, The MasterCard Foundation was established through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide at the time of the company's initial public offering in 2006.  For more information, please visit

SOURCE Toronto International Microfinance Summit

For further information:

Contact: Wendy Bodnoff
Co-chair, Media & Public Relations
905 334 3660

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