With Schlein, Accion Signals Business Focus

Two days ago, Accion release a press release that it has selected Michael Schlein as its President and CEO.  Schlien is an excellent choice given his experience at Citi’s International Franchise Management unit.  The appointment signals that Accion is likely going to grow in towards the commercialization path (remembering it’s 100% return on Compartamos Banco).

I noted the mention of China in the PR.  I’ve heard that Accion just hired a new operations person for their Inner Mongolia office, so I expect to see their MF efforts in China to kick back up soon.

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  1. Sue Anne says:

    Hi Yam Ki, your website has been quite useful for people like me who follow rural finance and MF. Accion’s former President Maria Otera taught us at SAIS Johns Hopkins for a MF class, though it was mostly her staff rather than her.

    Not to sidetrack, Inner Mongolia has received considerable attention even prior to rural finance reforms, and I hear Holhot is a hot bed of small money lending similar to Wenzhou. I’d be most interested to see any case studies examining their MF model and if they can provide lessons to rest of MF in China.

    Cheers, SA

    • Yam Ki says:

      Sue Anne, thank you for your comment.

      There’s quite a bit of action in Inner Mongolia. As you probably know, Standard Chartered has opened up a village bank there and has started offering collateral free loans. Though, my understanding is that along with the rest of the “rural” financing that’s happening, most of these banks are targeting SMEs, not the poverty alleviation type of loans, which are CFPA, Accion, and Grameen’s focus.

      As part of my Council of Alumni for Social Enterprise (CASE) fellowship I have written up a case study on CFPA Microfinance. The case looks at some of the challenges CFPA Microfinance faced during its transition from a “project” to a true MFI and what they did about it. I will co-teach the case with Professor Dan Rosen next Tuesday at Columbia-SIPA’s China’s New Marketplace course. I will also have a brown bag session on this case later this semester for the wider community as part of a Microfinance Working Group event. Feel free to join if you are in the NYC area.

  2. Peter Fang says:

    Yam Ki… I admire your dedication to the cause.

    I am interested in starting a non profit type of microcredit operation in western part of China. Would like to talk to you if possible. I am starting from stand still mode and need a lot of help.

    Peter Fang

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