The Inaugural Summit on the Global Agenda

Roy Sosa, a leading voice on financial innovation for underserved markets who helped pioneer prepaid debit, joins Ricardo Hausmann, director of Harvard University's Center for International Development and professor of the Practice of Economic Development at the Kennedy School of Government, as co-chairs of the Global Agenda Council on Financial Empowerment. The Council meets on November 7-9 in Dubai at the Inaugural Summit on the Global Agenda held by the World Economic Forum in partnership with the Government of Dubai. The Summit convenes 700 of the world's leaders from academia, business, government and society to advance solutions to the most critical global challenges facing humanity.

One of 68 Global Agenda Councils to meet at the Summit, the Council on Financial Empowerment will focus on developing an international strategy for promoting the financial inclusion of billions of underserved consumers around the world. Council participants experts representing the disciplines of microfinance, financial education, financial services, economics and multilateral policy development will contribute insights and recommendations to initiate a broad-based movement capable of harnessing technological and policy innovations to accelerate global change.

The Summit is a new and unique three-day gathering where members of the Forum's Network of Global Agenda Councils will engage in interactive workshops and sessions to set priorities for some of the most pressing issues on the global agenda and the most compelling ideas for improving the state of the world. The outcomes will be integrated in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2009 for further discussion and action.

"Lack of access to financial services is a major impediment to economic development that stymies individuals' ability to generate, accumulate, and leverage assets, " said Roy Sosa, co-chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Financial Empowerment.

"While we have seen tremendous progress in the expansion of access to credit through microfinance, many other basic financial services still lag far behind. It is time for the global conversation around this topic to advance and focus on how we can leverage technology and innovative partnerships to deliver expanded solutions that will unleash the economic power of billions."

Roy Sosa is founder and chairman of MPOWER Ventures, a socially committed venture fund that invests in early-stage financial services companies focused on underserved markets, and the chief executive officer of MPOWER Labs, an affiliated business accelerator that helps MPOWER Ventures' portfolio companies rapidly scale and enter markets around the world.

As the visionary and driving force behind the companies' shared mission of empowerment, his philosophy of venture investment, which is centered on the end consumer, fueled by the entrepreneur, and supported by partnerships, grounds both companies' approach to social capitalism. Sosa began providing financial services to the underserved in 1999 when he and his brother founded NetSpend Corporation. In 2004, he was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Sosa also served with distinction in the United States Marine Corps where he earned meritorious citations, including the Navy-Marine Corps Achievement and National Defense Service medals.

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