Founding Father of Microlending to Speak at International Leadership Forum Oct. 26 St. Thomas Newsroom October 22, 2010 Pancho Otero, a leading authority in the world of microfinance, will speak at the 2010 International Leadership Forum. His topic is “Microfinance Works in Developing Countries: Experiences of the Founding Father of Microlending.”Pancho OteroThe talk, free and open to the public, will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26, in Terrence Murphy Hall on the Minneapolis campus. Refreshments will be served following the program.Otero will examine the origin of microfinance and its impact on the education of women and children in developing nations. He will speak about his personal experience using microfinance and present evidence that microfinance alleviates poverty and opens the door to education.Otero, who today heads IPM (Spanish acronym for Micro Enterprise Policy Institute), is the founder of BancoSol, the world’s first private and fully commercial microfinance institution (MFI). More recently, Otero has created a niche MFI dedicated to creating credit that targets peasants in remote areas of Bolivia.For more information contact the School of Education, College of Applied Professional Studies, (651) 962-4441.