The 2011 Global Microcredit Summit in Valladolid, Spain will be the 15th global or regional summit organized by the Microcredit Summit Campaign. In February of 1997, RESULTS Educational Fund 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.
Then First Lady Hillary Clinton addressed the delegates of the 1997 Summit, saying "I am thrilled to see such a turnout for this Summit, which is one of the most important gatherings that we could have anywhere in our world."
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 new goals for 2015 were launched at the 2006 Global Microcredit Summit in Halifax, Canada:
The purpose of the 2011 Global Microcredit Summit is to encourage practitioners and other stakeholders to use microfinance as a means towards ending global poverty, as well as to spur progress towards fulfilling the Microcredit Summit’s two goals for 2015:
1. Working to ensure that 175 million of the world’s poorest families, especially the women of those families, are receiving credit for self-employment and other financial and business services. (With an average of five in a family, this would affect 875 million family members.)
2. Working to ensure that 100 million of the world’s poorest families move above the US$1.25 a day poverty threshold, adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP). (With an average of five per family this would mean that 500 million people would have risen above $1.25 a day nearly completing the Millennium Development Goal on halving absolute poverty.)
Her Majesty Queen Sofía of Spain, and Honorary Co-Chair of the Microcredit Summit Campaign, has attended 7 Global or Regional Summits.
More than two thousand delegates from more than 100 countries are expected to attend the 2011 Global Microcredit Summit, including heads of state and government and other dignitaries. This summit will provide the opportunity for microfinance practitioners, advocates, investors, donors, and others committed to the Campaign’s goals to assess progress, discuss challenges to achieving the goals set for 2015, share best practices, and accelerate innovations.
The 2011 Global Microcredit Summit will include: 1) six cutting edge
topics discussed in plenary, 2) over 50 workshop sessions, 3) a number of intensive day-long courses on a variety of subjects, and 4) some 30 additional associated sessions organized by delegates.