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Speakers to Discuss Microfinance Opportunities and Global Poverty

Jan 29, 2010

The Ohio Northern University James F. Dicke College of Business Administration will host representatives of Opportunity International, Jason Duff, Alex Kerr and A.J. Renold, who will speak in the Dicke Forum on Thursday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m.

Their presentation, titled “Microfinance: Giving the Poor a Working Chance,” will discuss the successful financial aid to poverty stricken areas of the world in the form of microfinance. The provision of financial services in the form of loans, insurance, and training to people living in poverty, microfinance has been widely recognized as a sustainable solution for alleviating global poverty for more than 30 years.

Duff graduated from ONU’s College of Business Administration in 2005 and has since gone on to serve in executive capacities in several businesses, including Community Storage & Properties Ltd. and COMSTOR Outdoor Ltd., both of which he is founder and CEO. Duff has been recognized for his contributions as a real estate developer and his role in spearheading revitalization efforts contributing to millions of dollars in community development. He is an active keynote speaker for the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour sponsored by Inc. magazine and is a visiting lecturer of entrepreneurship at universities throughout the country.

Kerr graduated from Kenyon College in 2006 with a degree in economics. He is currently working with Opportunity International in Chicago, Ill. He has traveled to Tanzania and Rwanda to gain more knowledge and information about microfinance operations and potential opportunities to expand services. Kerr is also an advocate and leader for Young Ambassadors for Opportunity.

Renold, a native of Chicago, Ill., graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2009 from Loyola University Chicago Undergraduate School of Business with degrees in both economics and international business. He joined Opportunity International shortly after graduation, and, in 2010, will move to Tanzania to work with Opportunity Tanzania in its transition into a commercial microfinance institution.

Opportunity International provides small business loans, savings, insurance and training to people living in poverty worldwide. Clients in more than 25 countries use these financial services to start or expand a business, develop a steady income, provide for their families, and create jobs for their neighbors. Opportunity International serves all people regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or gender.