Founder, VSL Associates, Solingen, Germany
Hugh Allen has worked in development since 1970, focusing for most of the last 20 years on microfinance and technology-based market development activities. For 13 years he worked for CARE, a major international humanitarian aid organization, and was their Chief Technical Advisor for small economic activity development in Africa. It was during this time that he first came across community-managed microfinance and realized its potential to reach the very poor who are, generally, unable to take advantage of standard microfinance services. Since 1999 he has worked independently to promote its adoption at very large-scale in Africa, and in 2006 founded VSL Associates to promote this approach through numerous multi-sectoral development agencies and southern NGOs.