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Gregory Casagrande

Gregory Casagrande
President, South Pacific Business Development Foundation
Apia, Samoa
Advisor for the International Year of Microcredit 2005

"Microcredit empowers the underprivileged by providing meaningful opportunities through access to credit to take charge of their futures. It's a simple concept that works and has the potential to transform the world as we know it."

Greg Casagrande launched South Pacific Business Development Foundation (SPBD) in the remote island nation of Samoa in January 2000. He has since lead SPBD to become the largest and first successful microfinance institution in the region. Greg also serves on the board of PlaNet Finance and the The Prgaue Institute. He has a BA from Colgate University, an MS from New York University and an MBA from the Kellogg School and is also a CPA. In addition to his microfinance activities, he encourages 1st world entrepreneurialism through his board leadership of several New Zealand based high-tech companies, a private equity fund and an angel network. Prior to launching SPBD, Greg worked in various financial and general management positions for Ford Motor Company in Detroit, Chicago and Japan.

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Mark Malloch Brown, Chef de Cabinet, Office of the Secretary General to the United Nations

Mark Malloch Brown,
Chef de Cabinet, Office of the Secretary General to the United Nations
"By directly empowering poor people, particularly women, microfinance has become one of the key driving mechanisms towards meeting the MDG's, specifically the overarching target of halving extreme poverty and hunger by 2015."
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