Brett Matthews: Empowerment, innovation and money

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Brett Matthews - Empowerment, Innovation and Money

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Brett Hudson Matthews is dedicated to lighting the path out of poverty for the poorest billion rural citizens of our planet. In 2012, following a fellowship at the McLuhan Program for Culture and Technology (University of Toronto), he launched My Oral Village, Inc. at Mathwood Consulting Company, a consulting firm Matthews founded. He has conducted many evaluations of village finance projects, working in 15 of the world's poorest countries since 2000. He was Gates Advisor at MicroSave India during 2008-09, where he advised over a dozen MFIs in 12 Indian states.

My Oral Village is re-inventing the ways in which illiterate and innumerate people manage their finances so they can escape from the perils of saving at home and get on the path to steady asset accumulation. It is also re-inventing the ways "oral" people create and manage organizations that serve their livelihood and other needs so they can benefit from their talents as entrepreneurs and as leaders.

With the Canadian Co-operative Association, Matthews led the development of the Cambodian Community Finance Network (CCFiN) from 2003-07, preparing the way for the emergence of a national credit union movement in that country.

In the 1990s he worked at Metro (now Alterna) Credit Union in Toronto and served on the credit committee of the Calmeadow Metro Fund, a microcredit fund operating in Toronto.

Matthews writes and edits a blog for village finance practitioner, www.villagefinance.net, and has published numerous papers on microfinance. He earned his MBA (finance) from the Schulich School of Business at York University and his MA (development studies) at the University of Toronto.

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