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BYU hosts annual Microenterprise Conference March 11-13

The Seventh Annual Microenterprise Conference and action fair, sponsored by the Center for Economic Self-Reliance at Brigham Young University, will be held March 11-13, 2004.

The conference – the largest of its kind – gathers microfinance institutions, non-governmental organizations, educators, students and volunteers for discussions and workshops on microcredit innovations.

“This is an opportunity to find out how to get involved,” says Todd Manwaring, managing director for the Center for Economic Self-Reliance. “Intrinsically, for many of us, there is a desire to reach out and do something for our brothers and sisters and what we often don’t know is how to do that.”

The action fair is from 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 13, in the Wilkinson Student Center. Participants of the action fair will be able to visit booths set up by local, national and international groups attending the conference. The groups will provide information about what they do and how the public can get involved in microenterprise.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Microenterprise With Education.” Attendees new or well-acquainted with the concept of microenterprise are invited to learn ways to educate those who receive microcredit in areas such as accounting, literacy and healthcare.

“The microenterprise conferences are a great way for ordinary people to learn what is going on in this field,” says Lisa Williams, regular conference attendee from Elk Grove, Calif. “Even when we have a strong desire to become involved in charitable efforts, it can become a distant concern if we do not make an effort to consistently rekindle the fire.”

The conference will begin Thursday, March 11, at 6 p.m. with an opening social. Hour-long panel discussions and breakout sessions will be held every hour from 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 12-13, in the Wilkinson Student Center at BYU, with an hour-and-a-half break for the action fair.

A complete schedule and registration can be found online at

Writer: Lauren Funk

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