COVID-19 POSTPONEMENT – Do Microfinance Loans actually Work?

25 Mar 2020 | 06:00 pm - 09:00 pm
COVID-19-Related Postponement and Refunds
Dear friends,
Due to the concerns about the current COVID-19 virus, it has been necessary for the venue to cancel all outside events, including ours.
In our ongoing effort to give you world-class events, we’re simply going to postpone this event to the next open slot, in order to do it well later. Before then, we will be hosting the Summer Reception and the Pinstripe Mass.
In the meantime, we will of course refund the payments that have been made so far. For our members, our partners in this effort, we will be giving you a complimentary quarter for your membership, to make up for the hole in the calendar.
We hope to see you at our Summer events, and then again at this one in the Autumn!
Lenten prayers for you,
The CFA volunteer team


The microfinance industry has experienced exponential growth over the last two decades. This has allowed a whole new class of entrepreneurs to build small businesses in developing countries. At the same time, with large banks and global financial institutions rushing to get a piece of this growing sector, new problems have emerged. Without the proper underwriting of small loans, recipients sometimes find themselves without the proper skills to pay back their debts, and this can result in even further financial problems. Join the Catholic Finance Association as our esteemed panelists explore the following questions:
What are the best business practices that have contributed to the success of the highest rated microfinance institutions (MFIs)?
What are the biggest challenges for financial institutions entering the microfinance space? How have they been addressed?
Experts suggest that the most successful MFIs are those that take a holistic approach with their lending practices. What does a holistic approach entail? How is this informed by principles from Catholic Social Teaching?
Register Now


Damian von Stauffenberg
Founder and President
Damian von Stauffenberg is the founder of MicroRate, the world’s first rating agency specializing in microfinance. Since 1997, MicroRate has conducted well over 1,000 ratings of microfinance institutions all over the world. Before dedicating himself to microfinance, Mr. von Stauffenberg worked for 25 years in the World Bank and its private sector affiliate, the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
In addition to leading MicroRate, Mr. von Stauffenberg has been closely associated with other institutions that have played pioneering roles in connecting microfinance to capital markets, such as Seed microfinance equity fund, MicroVest and the Latin American Challenge Investment Fund, LA-CIF.
He presently is Chairman of MicroRate’s board and head of its rating committee, which assigns rating grades to Microfinance Institutions (MFIs).
Georg Kell
Arabesque Asset Management

Georg Kell is Chairman of Arabesque Asset Management, an ESG Quant fund manager that uses self-learning quantitative models and big data to assess the performance and sustainability of globally listed companies. He is the founding Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative with over 9,000 corporate signatories from more than 160 countries. Through Mr. Kell’s leadership, the Global Compact became the foremost platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible and sustainable corporate policies and practices. Mr. Kell also oversaw the conception and launch of the Global Compact’s sister initiatives on investment, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and on education, the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), together with the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative.



Dr. Linda Sama
Associate Dean for Global Initiatives
Morgan Stanley Peter J. Tobin College of Business
St. John’s University
Dr. Linda M. Sama is Associate Dean for Global Initiatives and Joseph F. Adams Professor of Management in the Peter J. Tobin College of Business (TCB), St. John’s University. In her capacity as Associate Dean, she works with faculty and students to encourage global learning and assessment, with partner institutions worldwide on executing agreements and exchanges, and with U.N. agencies to contribute to the promotion of the SDGs in higher education.
Dr. Sama founded the GLOBE (Global Loan Opportunities for Budding Entrepreneurs) microloan program at TCB, a student-managed micro-credit fund and experiential learning initiative inaugurated in 2009, and acts as the Program Director. The program has introduced over 400 students to microfinance as practiced in some of the world’s most impoverished communities, and has earned several awards internationally. GLOBE has provided loans to over 200 borrowers in seven countries on three continents, and is assisted in its efforts by the Daughters of Charity, GLOBE’s on-the-ground field partners.
Dr. Sama teaches primarily in the areas of International Business, Strategic Management and Business Ethics. In addition to GLOBE, Dr. Sama has taught in the Executive-in-Residence Program since she arrived at St. John’s in 2007, and is honored to have worked with over 500 talented students in the program and many generous corporate sponsors. Her research has resulted in the publication of over 95 articles, proceedings papers and book chapters that address issues of CSR, business and the natural environment, integrative social contracts theory, and global business ethics dilemmas in the new economy. Most recently, her research has focused on the connections between micro-lending and women empowerment, sustainability, religiosity, food security, and post-conflict resolutions in the developing world’s Base of Pyramid (BoP) markets.
Due to building security,
pre-registration will be required.


Non-member seating is extremely limited.
$45 Early-Bird for Non-Members (raised to $60 on March 5th)


No Charge for CFA Paid Members


Register Now
Graciously hosted at
101 Astor Place
New York, NY 10003
Doors will open at 6pm.
Discussion will begin promptly at 6:30pm.
Reception to follow
Join the CFA as our panel of experts explore important questions related to the microfinance industry


Register Now