The Shepherd University's Faculty Research Forum will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at noon with "A Fresh Look at U.S. Microfinance: The Evolution of Revolution" presented by Dr. Caroline E.W. Glackin, assistant professor of business administration, in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies.
With microfinance programs in the United States in their third decade of operations and in light of economics changes, it is time to take a fresh look at the challenges and opportunities. Since its inception in the U.S. environment, microlending has been viewed variously as a strategy to assist in asset accumulation, poverty alleviation, community and economic development, empowerment of disadvantaged populations and to improve access to credit with target populations as diverse as its purposes. The 362 microlenders identified in the Aspen Institute's most recent count represent a highly fragmented group, with capital sources ranging from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) to private foundations and individual donors. U.S. programs and their supporters have found microfinance scale and sustainability to be elusive.
"A Fresh Look at U.S. Microfinance: The Evolution of Revolution"will address the current state of U.S. microfinance including challenges such as under and over promising, scale and sustainability and the questions raised by these challenges. Glackin will examine microcredit from the microentrepreneur's perspective using research conducted on U.S. Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and introduce the behavioral economics perspective on the issues. Glackin will suggest policy and program options and identify work in progress and proposed research that appears promising.
The Faculty Research Forum at Shepherd University is a monthly lecture series implemented by the faculty and designed to highlight the current scholarship of Shepherd faculty members. Presentations are drawn from across the campus community and are presented free of charge to faculty, staff, students, and members of the community.
For more information about the Shepherd Faculty Research Forum, visit www.shepherd.edu/aaweb/frf/.