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Resource Library / 1997 Microcredit Summit Report

On February 2-4, 1997, more than 2,900 people from 137 countries gathered at the Microcredit Summit to launch a campaign to reach 100 million of the world's poorest families, especially the women of those families, with credit for self-employment and other financial and business services by the year 2005.

As important as the Summit was in galvanizing attention, the most important questions being asked now are: What happens next? Will there be follow-up activities? How will we reach the Summit's goal?

The Summit process will continue, and its success rests on the initiative taken by those who attended the Summit and by those who did not. At the Closing Plenary I said:

The success of the Summit depends on the answer to the question, “What will I do, and what am I committed to enlisting my institution to do? The success of the Microcredit Summit rests on the seriousness with which each institution develops and fulfills its institutional action plan. Most action plans are due by February 1998. We know that some plans will be late. We know that some action plans will be timid. We know that some action plans will be bold. It is the bold plans and the bold institutions that will remind and inspire the others.

As you read through this report, decide which you will be and then take action. We will publicize some of the boldest plans in upcoming issues of the Summit campaign newsletter.

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