Coming from a poor rural village in the Philippines from a family which earned a gross income of USD 4 a day, Amina has experienced firsthand the desperation and hopelessness of poverty. Her family broke through the classic tale of generational poverty through a microfinance loan her mother used to start a small business with and a college scholarship which first sent her to University of the Philippines Diliman and eventually to Ohio Wesleyan University to finish an undergraduate degree in Mathematics (Summa Cum Laude). After graduation, she worked as an advocate of financial inclusion, social performance and education for the youth through her work as Corporate Planning Manager at ASKI, the Philippine MFI which originally gave her mother the aforementioned microfinance loan. Concurrently, Amina also was the co-founder of Linang Kabataan, an NGO promoting educational assistance for poor youth. Her five-year experience as policy and program developer in the institution and her previous experience as a beneficiary of the initiative taught her the importance of access to financial services such as loans, savings, insurance, remittance, and non-financial support including financial education, entrepreneurship and livelihood trainings in enabling an environment where the marginalized can help themselves out of poverty. She sees her role in the next ten years as an innovator, catalyst, and capacity builder for the Philippine development sector focusing on financial inclusion, and joins GHD to further explore the role of social enterprises, food security, and rural livelihood in promoting equitable socio-economic growth for the country. Read about Amina’s 2017 invitation to Vienna as a Peter Drucker Challenge Award Winner.
Amina Mendez Acosta
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