Founding Member, FINCA International
Rupert Scofield co-founded FINCA with John Hatch in 1984 and together they helped inspire and build the global microfinance movement. Their work was rooted in the belief that market-based principles, trust in individuals, and involving women in local business activities were critical to the economic and social well-being of families and nations.
Under Rupert’s leadership, FINCA’s microfinance operations grew from a small, credit-only, group lending program — the original Village Banking™ — to a network of innovative microfinance institutions across five continents, offering a range of responsible financial services to low-income entrepreneurs and their communities (both women and men). Today, FINCA savings accounts, microenterprise and small business loans, agricultural loans, transaction services, and more, benefit millions of people. Services are delivered through the Village Banks but increasingly also through branches, mobile banking, and agent banking.
As President and CEO of FINCA International (the FINCA “Foundation”), Rupert is active on the board of the FINCA Microfinance Holding Company, which manages FINCA’s microfinance operations today. He sits on the boards of FINCA Microfinance Bank in Pakistan, FINCA Afghanistan, FINCA Canada and FINCA UK and he is frequently spotted chatting (or singing) with clients across the world. Rupert’s vision and entrepreneurial experience is also behind the Foundation’s new social enterprise programs that broaden financial inclusion by enabling and accelerating low-income people’s access to smart, healthful and productive solutions such as small-scale solar lighting, clean cookstoves, water filtration systems, and sanitation.
Prior to FINCA, Rupert was the CEO of Rural Development Services, a consulting firm, and country program director of the AFL-CIO’s Labor Program in El Salvador. He served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala. His book, The Social Entrepreneur’s Handbook: How to Start, Build and Run a Business that Improves the World (McGraw-Hill, 2011) tells the story of how FINCA was built, as well as providing practical advice on how to find personal passion and build social businesses that change the world. He has two M.A. degrees in agricultural economics and public administration from the University of Wisconsin, as well as a B.A. from Brown University. He also holds an honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of Roehampton in London.