By AUDREY PERRY AND ANDREW JACKSON
Students can learn more about how to alleviate poverty and suffering around the world by attending the Second Annual MicroEnterprise Conference today and Saturday.
The MicroEnterprise movement has its roots in the work of Muhammad Yunus, the father of microcredit and founder of Grameen Bank, headquartered in Bangladesh. The bank is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing small loans to individuals who cannot otherwise obtain credit, said Quinn Warnick, public relations writer for the Marriott School.
Ned C. Hill, dean of the Marriott School, said this conference brings some of the foremost international leaders, educators, investors and non-governmental organizations to BYU to discuss this year’s theme, “Investing in the Poor.”
Guest speakers include Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and director of the Gandhi Institute for Non-violence; Elder Alexander Morrison of the Seventy; and Alex Counts, executive director of the Grameen Foundation, USA.
The theme of the conference captures the essence of the micro-credit movement, which is extending credit to very poor individuals. The conference will also explore ways to direct the entrepreneurial spirit to bring the poor to a state of self-reliance, said Donald Adolphson, chairman of the conference’s planning committee.
The conference will be action-oriented and will provide participants with specific ways of becoming involved in the work, said Adolphson, associate director of the Romney Institute of Public Management.
The lectures and workshops will discuss topics such as advocacy for micro-credit, internships and careers in micro-enterprise and stewardship and accountability.
“The people who attend will feel both the motivation to help the less fortunate and the power to help them,” Adolphson said.
The conference, which is free to the public, will be in 3220 WSC from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Friday, and 8:30 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, contact the Romney Institute of Public Management at 378-4221.