Microloan Underwriting with Leslie Hoffman and Barbara Eckblad

September 21, 2017  • Joyce Klein, Leslie Hoffman & Barbara Eckblad

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About the webinar

Microfinance organizations are in the mission-driven business of meeting the capital needs of business borrowers who are challenged with nontraditional credit profiles. This webinar explores the classic “5 Cs” of small business credit analysis through the lens of microlending. Are there common elements of strong microloan and small business underwriting? What are the differences between these types of underwriting? Presenters cover facts and myths about the primary predictors of repayment for micro-borrowers and the skills a microloan underwriter must master to assess credit risk effectively. Participants gained a clear and actionable understanding of industry best practice in microloan underwriting.

In exchange for participating in the webinar free of charge, FIELD at the Aspen Institute is asking participants who work in microenterprise development programs to complete the US Microenterprise Census Survey. The US Microenterprise Census is an online survey that counts and collects data on the microenterprise industry. The data reported to the Census is a crucial tool to help build the industry and make the case for its work. To report your data or for more information on the Census, visit: microtracker.org/explore/industry-data.

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Featured speakers

Barbara Eckblad
Principal, The Eckblad Group

Community development and finance has been a personal and professional passion for Barbara Eckblad since she entered the workforce. While starting in the commercial credit department of a regional bank in Wisconsin, analyzing borrower profiles, she spent evenings planning a tourism and marketing initiative for the small dairy farming community. During the first tech boom twenty years ago, Barbara helped reengineer a stressed small tech company. Additionally, Barbara founded a commercial and residential real estate brokerage firm. These experiences gave her first-hand exposure to the challenges facing entrepreneurs. She transitioned her business to employee ownership in 2008 to devote her full time and attention to microfinance, CDFIs, and the wellbeing of underserved and at-risk populations.

Leslie Hoffman
Principal, LEH Consulting Group

Leslie Hoffman’s career in community development began during her service as a municipal development volunteer in the Peace Corps in rural El Salvador. She went on to work in US microfinance, playing several management and senior-level roles during an eight-year career at Accion New Mexico – Arizona – Colorado, including vice president positions overseeing lending, portfolio quality, client service and strategic partnership development. Leslie helped the organization expand its footprint into Arizona and Colorado and grow to become the nation’s fourth-largest microlender. In 2013, she launched a national consulting practice that focuses on capacity building in the community development sector. The firm specializes in strategic management support for public, private, and social sector clients and operations improvement for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).


For more information

Contact Lavanya Mohan, lavanya.mohan@aspeninst.org, p. 202-736-2939.