University of Melbourne : Careers Guide 2012
venture philanthropists. Some sit on the board of directors of such organisations, where they can offer guidance and determine the most appropriate finance model for each organisation. Entry-level jobs in this area usually involve research, filling out reports and working with ver y limited staff to find ways to request and coordinate financial assistance. Volunteer and non-profit experience would be valuable, as well as a knowledge of finance, marketing or social work. Microfinance has many facets, but its essence lies in the ultimate goal of eradicating poverty and giving everyone equal chances to fight it and succeed. This gives new professionals a chance to work in an area that is fulfilling for its social role, while dealing with complex business models where the profit and not-for-profit areas merge. Microfinance revolves around the principle that everyone in the world should have the right to be respected as a citizen who can work and be included, not only in the financial system, but in society as whole. in addition to those in the social-related, charity-based area. In terms of international development, Australia is increasingly recognising the need to assist less privileged countries, and programs such as the Melbourne Microfinance Initiative (MMI) are set to help with this. MMI is the first and largest microfinance organisation based at an Australian university, where students give their expertise in microfinance to communities in developing countries. It was founded in 2010 at the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne, and works in partnership programs with NGOs in Ghana, Kenya, Cambodia and Vietnam. The initiative provides financial education, microloans and financial consulting services and aims to invest in social projects, education and improve knowledge to increase means of production in farming, processing methods and potential exports. Various career opportunities exist in the microfinance area, which requires broader social science knowledge as well as a knowledge of finance. In the case of initiatives in developing countries, knowledge of local languages and customs is also required. Above all, most professionals involved in this area truly believe that poverty can be eradicated, giving their careers more meaningful goals than those offered by traditional jobs in the finance area. Another career path associated with microfinance is assisting venture entrepreneurs – investors or businesspeople who support the expansion of microbusinesses. This is a challenging area, since these investors usually expect higher returns as the risks taken are bigger. In the field of venture philanthropy, the focus is on not-for-profit, charity, social or socially driven commercial organisations working on venture capital business models. This area can be ver y complex and changeable – it started with the traditional start-up grants, but those have been criticised as not sustainable. More modern models offer funding that is performance- based, while others still only offer growth capital to already established social enterprises, but they all tend to have more involvement and engagement from the BUSINESS and I.T. ALAMY » Fernando Tamayo » Bachelor of Commerce » Root Capital, Peru Fernando came from his home in Peru to study at the Faculty of Business and Economics in 2008 after he won the A.G . Whitlam Scholarship. After being inspired when he attended a seminar by Hugh Evans, founder of the Oaktree Foundation, Fernando decided he wanted to be a social investment banker. He also took the opportunity of going to the University of Pennsylvania on exchange, where he learned about microfinancing. When he returned to Australia, he decided he wanted to set up an organisation in this area and founded the Melbourne Micro Finance Initiative (MMI), the first organisation of its kind in Australia. MMI forms consultancy teams and works with partnerships and NGOs dealing with microfinance projects across the globe. The consultancy teams provide their knowledge and experience to ensure microfinance initiatives are more efficient. In 2011, Fernando graduated and went back to Peru, where he now works with a social investment bank and with communities to check if they are using bank loans properly. Fernando has been back to Australia to give his ‘Lessons from the Poor’ talk, in which he aims to inspire and raise awareness of the issues involved in microfinance and also to challenge some ideas around poor people being natural entrepreneurs. Counting cash at a microfinance group meeting in Iloilo, the Philippines.