Notice: MFTransparency is now a defunct organization. Click here for further information.

Growth of an Organization: Behind the Scenes

Published on August 4, 2010

by Randall Weaver

What do getting an EIN number, registering with the IRS, getting a letter signed by an attorney, and creating a limited power of attorney contract have in common?  If you guessed getting set up a business in the United States, you guessed wrong.

This is the journey we have been on in order to comply with local law while registering MicroFinance Transparency in The Republic of Ghana, which will serve as the base for our enabling APR & EIR Program. Through this project we will promote transparent pricing in the microfinance markets of 8 countries in Africa, including Ghana.  Ghana is about the size of Great Britain and has a population of about 20 million. Growth can be challenging, but it is also exciting.

As our global presence grows, so does our team.  I joined the team in June as the Manager of Finance and Administration.  The excitement and commitment from the entire team at MFTransparency is contagious, and it starts at the very top with our CEO & President Chuck Waterfield.  The team is not just clocking in, doing their hours, and clocking out, they are making an impact!

You may wonder how we communicate when we have people all around the world working on various projects.  Skype is our connector.  Chuck, MFTransparency Vice President Alexandra Fiorillo and I hold weekly meetings via Skype with Christabel Dadzie who is the Africa Regional Manager.  Chuck, Alex and I are based in the US and Christabel is based in Ghana. From there she keeps us updated on all the requirements of getting the office set up. Currently we are in the process of hiring Research Associates and Analysts for the Program.

Although the process of setting up an office in a foreign country can be a tricky one, it is very important. MFTransparency is the microfinance industry expert on pricing transparency. We are not experts on microfinance in Ghana. Nor are we experts on microfinance in Malawi, India, Bolivia, or Senegal! We work all around the world, and our team cannot be experts on all the countries they visit. In every country where we work we partner with local organizations, incorporating their knowledge into our work and facilitating dialogue between local actors. We also hire local staff. We believe that in order to maximize the impact and sustainability of our work, it is important to involve the players in the local microfinance markets as much as possible.

My involvement in this process is unique since I have a supporting role.  I do not see the countries we are working in, nor do I actually do the work of data collection.  I see the back- end work, the many details that make it possible for MFTransparency to exist in the U.S. and now in Ghana.  I feel blessed as I do this work and watch our global presence grow!

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