The international arm of MicroLoan Foundation was founded by Peter Ryan, a Chiswick businessman with a background starting up businesses for other companies in Europe and Africa.
MicroLoan Foundation UK
Peter Ryan established MicroLoan Foundation UK and started work in Nkhotakota, a small town situated close to Lake Malawi, in the central region of Malawi. At the beginning there was one Malawian employee working out of a garage using a bicycle. This set the scene for the way things were to work in the future.
Peter was asked about the key steps followed since the start:
“First, start small. Second, build from the ground up, and third, make sure it works. If it doesn’t work, learn the lessons, apply them, adapt, change and move on.”
MicroLoan Foundation has been following those steps ever since.
MicroLoan Foundation Australia
MicroLoan Foundation UK was soon joined by MicroLoan Foundation Australia, MicroLoan Foundation USA and MicroLoan Foundation Scotland. Together these bodies have since opened many offices in Malawi and, in 2009 expanded to open offices in Zambia.
Key people in MicroLoan Foundation
The international arm
Peter Ryan is a Chiswick businessman with a background in starting up businesses for other companies in Europe and Africa. During a trip to Malawi in 1997 which he described as “mind-blowing” he was profoundly influenced by what he saw, particularly the disparity between the rich and the poor. Recognising the need and opportunity for microfinance services in sub-Saharan Africa, Peter founded the MicroLoan Foundation in the late 1990’s.
Peter is a career banker, involved in banking for fourteen years. His last job was Head of Corporate Banking responsible for new business development and relationship management with special emphasis on major corporate clients and involvement in areas of lending, structured trade finance, exchange control and international trade transactions. Peter holds a BSc (Hons) in Financial Services and is an associate of the Institute of Financial Services (IFS). He holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Malawi, the Polytechnic. Peter joined MicroLoan in December 2011.
MicroLoan Foundation Australia was founded by Brian Keen.
Brian is a business man who lived in Malawi for many years, running a number of construction, development and transport businesses. Brian moved to Australia in 1976 and continued his business career there.
When Brian retired, he dearly wanted to start a charity helping the people he worked with in Malawi. The organisation he founded was the Australian Branch of the MicroLoan Foundation established by Peter Ryan.
Brian really related to the concept of ‘giving a hand up, not a hand out’ and the idea of building an economic future for families through business. So, in 2009 Brian worked with Peter to set up the Australian organization.
Check out the rest of the team
MicroLoan Foundation Australia works closely with MicroLoan Foundation UK and the overall administration arm, managed by Peter Matumbo, which operates in Africa.
Check out the rest of the MicroLoan Foundation Team in Australia here.