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About the Summits

History of the Summits


The purpose of the Microcredit Summits organized by the Microcredit Summit Campaign is to encourage practitioners and other stakeholders to use microfinance as a means towards ending extreme poverty, especially within the region, as well as to spur progress towards fulfilling the Campaign's Two Goals.


In February 1997, RESULTS Educational Fund (REF) convened the first Microcredit Summit, launching a nine-year 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 end of 2005. This historic event, held in Washington, DC, brought together over 2,900 delegates from 137 countries.

Building on the achievements of the 1997 Summit, a series of Global and Regional meetings have since been successfully held. They have attracted more than 15,000 delegates from over 140 countries. From 1997 to the present, the Microcredit Summit Campaign has relentlessly pursued its goals, maintaining a steadfast commitment to the Summit's four core themes. The Microcredit Summit Campaign is a global effort to restore control to people over their own lives and destinies.

Since 1997, the Microcredit Summit Campaign has been leading, supporting, and guiding the microfinance field to address failures in reaching the very poor. The success of the first phase of the Campaign, during which those with microloans grew from reaching 7.6 million of the world's poorest families in 1997 to more than 100 million in 2007, fueled the decision to extend the Campaign. The Campaign's goals for 2015 were launched at the 2006 Global Microcredit Summit in Halifax, Canada.

The Microcredit Summit Campaign is the only global network linking all actors in the microfinance sector that sets and regularly measures progress toward bold goals for using microfinance to end poverty. It announces progress towards these goals through the publication of the State of the Microcredit Summit Campaign Report.

Why you should attend the Campaign's Microcredit Summits

Professor Yunus addresses the delegates of the 2011 Global Microcredit Summit in Valladolid, Spain

Great Networking Opportunities. The Microcredit Summit Campaign's conferences are the largest microfinance gatherings in the world, which assemble a full range of those active in the field of microfinance including practitioners, advocates, investors, UN agencies, donors, domestic government agencies, and many more.

Exciting Opening Ceremony Speakers. Along with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus, the Microcredit Summit Campaign anticipates the participation of Heads of State, high-level government officials and other VIPs at its Opening Ceremony and throughout the conference.

Contemporary Global Issues. Discussion of major topics in the international microfinance field will be offered at each Summit.

In-depth Plenary Sessions. Plenary sessions will discuss the hot topics of the day featuring leaders in the field.

Broad Range of Workshop Sessions.  Workshops covering a variety of topics will be presented by specialists in their field.

Interactive Day-Long Courses.  Intensive training sessions on various topics will be offered at the end of the Summit.

Field Visits. Delegates will have the opportunity to  visit the host country's most dynamic microfinance institutions during the Summit.

Opportunity to Present Work. Delegates may apply to host an Associated Session on a topic of their choice or to organize a booth in the exhibition hall.