Microfinance and Impact Investing Initiative

Rooted in the Haverford tradition of embedding in its curricula a strong, ethical commitment to a just world, MI3 engages students in exploring the use of financial and human capital to address social problems.

Housed within the economics department but strongly cross-disciplinary, MI3 leads students to critically assess and respond to such challenges as poverty, environmental risk, and good governance while balancing social and financial goals. Through workshops, special projects, guided research, interaction with guest speakers and engagement with organizations in the field, MI3 presents students co-curricular opportunities to learn and take action to address key social challenges of our world.

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Microfinance is the provision of financial products to people in poverty. While the industry was launched by innovations in microcredit with very small loans targeted at microentrepreneurs, microfinance also includes savings products, insurance, payments systems, "consumer" loans and other financial products and services.

Impact Investing

Impact Investing is one of three modes of socially responsible investing. It involves making investments in firms or non-profits that are expected to earn a positive financial return and generate social benefits. It is sometimes referred to as blended investmenting or investing for a double bottom line.


ECON206 Microfinance: Theory, Practice and Challenge

Professor Shannon Mudd
Spring Semesters

An exploration of microfinance as an approach to meeting the financial needs of the poor with the potential to have significant positive impacts on their lives. The course is open to all students and provides them with the opportunity to explore theoretical explanations for its methodology, evaluate empirical research into its impacts and debate important issues in its practice.

ECON374 Junior Research Seminar: Access to Finance

Professor Shannon Mudd
Fall Semesters

The availability of finance to households and firms, especially small firms, varies substantially across time, place and activity. For poor households, in particular, access to appropriate financial products in terms of service, product and quality are often severely limited and often obtained only at high cost. This course is conducted as research seminar with students taking a large part of the responsibility for presenting the research questions and findings in both seminal and recent research efforts in this area. The main emphasis is on understanding the factors that affect small firm access to finance and the financial access of the poor.

ECON298 Impact Investing: Theory and Practice

Professor Shannon Mudd
Fall Semesters

This course focuses on Impact Investing, that is, investing with the goal to generate both a financial return and a positive social benefit (a “double bottom line”). The sector is broadly inclusive crossing investment sizes, structures, sectors and geography and focuses not only on product but also process and sourcing. In general, it supports firms seeking to address social, environmental and /or governance problems (ESG).

In this course students have the opportunity not only to gain an understanding of the theory and practice of impact investing across its many components, but also to gain practical experience. Through Mi3's membership in Investors’ Circle (IC), an impact angel network, students have an opportunity to attend monthly IC Philly meetings to hear pitches by entrepreneurs seeking investment and see one form of impact investing in action. With IC Philly students will screen potential investments, participate in the due diligence process and make an investment recommendation to the foundation of an alumnus to place money. Class meeting will vary among lectures, guest speaker, case work, and group work on the investment process. The class will end with presentations to an Investment Advisory Council comprised of alumnae with professional impact investment backgrounds.

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Director of Microfinance, Impact Investing, and Social Entrepreneurial Programs; Assistant Professor of Economics; Coordinator of Mathematical Economics
Chase 208
smudd [at] haverford.edu