Our Mission

Microcredit Summit is now Credit Summit…here’s why

Microcredit Summit initially started as a website to explore the benefits, challenges and impact of microfinance around the world. Traditionally, microfinance has referred to the practice of extending small loans to the poor in developing countries. We picked the name because we believed that microlending would allow people to reach their ‘peak’, or achieve the satisfaction of reaching a mountain’s summit.

Microcredit certainly has had an enormous impact in the world, really furthering social and financial inclusion. Empowering microentrepreneurs is a powerful way to lift millions out of poverty. And the fact that world poverty has gone from 30 to 10% in the last few decades speaks to the wonders of capitalism and technology.

But that doesn’t mean many aren’t left behind. The researchers at Microcredit Summit realized that while there is still a big opportunity to help people in the developing world, there are many here in the developed world that are left behind. We thought to ourselves, “if the richest and most powerful countries cannot address poverty, what does the future hold for the developing world?”.

Just consider the facts:

  • 11.8% of Americans live in poverty (30 million)
  • 70% of Americans have less than $1000 saved in case of emergency
  • 45% of Americans have nothing saved
  • 10 million Americans have to take out a payday loan every year

We still strongly believe in the impact that microfinance can have on the poor, especially given the scale. However, as we recognized that our communities around us are not nearly as stable and prosperous as we had thought, we decided to focus on some of the largest opportunities to help those around us make better financial decisions.

Then the covid19 pandemic hit, and we watched the working class go through a crisis. While the wealthy remained employed behind their computers, working class individuals had to make the tradeoff between risking illness and death, and putting food on their tables. Grocery story workers and delivery drivers were heralded as ‘heroes’, but in reality were more like victims.

As we think about the next financial frontier, we believe it is one where people know not to live beyond their means. We envision a world where financial institutions are held accountable. And where every individual possesses the knowledge to make smart financial decisions.

We believe that we should be working towards ending inequality and poverty in all forms, including both the developing and the developed world. So we will still cover the impact that microfinance has internationally. But we are reorienting our mission to provide content and tools for those most affected by poverty in the developed world.

This means helping people out of payday debt. Helping people refinance student loans. Helping people understand the ins and outs of medical debt, and how to build credit. The possibilities are endless, and we hope to make a small impact on helping people out of poverty.

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