Conservancy and the Community for Open Source Microfinance Assume Leadership of the Mifos project
February 27, 2012
The Software Freedom Conservancy and the Community for Open Source Microfinance (COSM) are pleased to announce parallel efforts to assume stewardship of Mifos — an award-winning Open Source and Free Software platform that accelerates the growth and impact of microfinance — from Grameen Foundation. The Conservancy, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing, supporting and defending Free, Libre and Open Source software projects, is now the non-profit home for all Mifos assets, and will provide a range of organizational, legal and licensing services, as well as non-profit oversight to the project. COSM, a newly incorporated not-for-profit organization formed to unite and serve the open source microfinance community, will focus on software development, deployment and community building.
“We are pleased to welcome Mifos as Conservancy's newest member,” said Bradley M. Kuhn, Executive Director of the Conservancy. “Conservancy is dedicated to advancing the public good through improvement and advocacy of Free Software, and we're therefore delighted to provide an infrastructure that enables Mifos to flourish”.
“Mifos provides the software infrastructure for our community's efforts to lift people out poverty,” added Edward Cable, co-founder of COSM and Mifos Community Manager, who has also been a member of the Mifos team since 2007. “We look forward to working side by side with the Conservancy to advance this technology and help our community enable microfinance institutions to further extend their outreach to the poorest of the poor”.
Grameen Foundation, a worldwide not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing access to financial services and mobile phone-based solutions to the world's poorest, launched Mifos in 2006, working closely with the microfinance and open source communities to build the platform. The software is now used by 25 microfinance institutions to provide services to 825,000 clients worldwide. Grameen Foundation has donated all assets associated with Mifos to the Conservancy to facilitate the leadership transition.
“The passion and drive of the Mifos open source team has been one of its core strengths, and we were pleased that we had the opportunity to work with developers and others around this world in building this critical technology platform for the microfinance industry. We are now happy to pass the baton on to the Conservancy and COSM to take Mifos into its next phase”, said David Edelstein, Director of the Grameen Foundation Technology Center, and Vice President of Technology Programs.
Mifos is an award-winning Open Source software platform for microfinance, leveraging a modern stack of Open Source technology frameworks to provide microfinance institutions with the scalability and flexibility needed to grow. In 2009, Mifos was awarded with the Duke's Choice Award for Best Java Technology for the Open Source Community.
Software Freedom Conservancy is a not-for-profit organization that helps promote, improve, develop and defend Free, Libre and Open Source software projects. The Conservancy is home to 28 software projects, each supported by a dedicated community of volunteers, developers and users. Conservancy's projects include some of the most widely used software systems in the world across many application areas, including educational software deployed in schools around the globe, embedded software systems deployed in most consumer electronic devices, distributed version control developer tools, integrated library services systems, and widely used graphics and art programs. A full list of Conservancy's projects can be found at sfconservancy.org/members/current/. The Conservancy provides these projects with the necessary infrastructure and not-for-profit support services to enable each project's communities to focus on what they do best: creating innovative software and advancing computing for the public's benefit.
The Community for Open Source Microfinance (COSM) is a not-for-profit organization seeking to develop a worldwide community to build, support and use an Open Source technology platform that enables the effective and efficient delivery of financial services to the poor — microfinance. COSM provides the tools, resources and collaborative environment to educate and support microfinance institutions using technology, and to train and equip local companies to support and serve microfinance institutions, along with the infrastructure and tools for volunteers to build on this platform to create new, better means of serving the poor.