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SEEP Conference: “Our Best Thoughts Come from Others”

By Eric Meyer

The following post was originally published on the USAID‘s new Microlinks blog on Monday, Nov. 1, 2010. It was written by Eric Meyer, Opportunity’s agricultural finance manager, who is guest blogging about the 2010 Annual SEEP Conference in Arlington, Va. this week  forMicrolinksClick here to see the original post.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once quipped that “our best thoughts come from others.” Despite the fact that I have already committed a personal pet peeve by leading with a quote, as I anticipate participating in the 2010 Annual SEEP  Conference I couldn’t agree with him more! Absorbing information and sharing lessons in the company of the world’s leading development experts is a terrific way to sharpen our thoughts, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to attend.

My name is Eric Meyer and I am currently a Program Manager at Opportunity International, where I work with our banks in Africa in a variety of oversight, evaluative, and analytic activities related to our organization’s rural finance initiative. Prior to my current role, I worked in Opportunity International’s Risk Management department, where I learned the importance of managing risk in order to safely achieve sustainability and maximize impact. Lendingsomebody money is easy; the difficult part is making sure that it comes back! Of course, effective risk management not only benefits the business by promoting sustainable practice, but it also benefits the business’ clients by ensuring that the products offered fit their needs and don’t overburden them. It’s a win-win!

As the microfinance industry rises in popularity and increases accountability, we must be good stewards of the resources at hand in order to maximize the impact of powerful poverty alleviation tools. I am truly looking forward to exploring these issues and more next week at the2010 Annual SEEP Conference.

This week, the Opportunity blog will be reposting Eric’s posts, and posting some of our own.Click here for our coverage of the 2010 Annual SEEP Conference.

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