Joan Heminway, the W.P. Toms Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law, traveled to Shanghai in March to represent the United States at the Seventh Conference on Innovative Trends Emerging in Microfinance: Pumping up Innovations In and Around Microfinance.
Heminway was the only US presenter at the conference, held March 15–17, and was only one of two participants who self-identified as a lawyer or legal academic. Other participants hailed from a diverse range of institutions and firms in Australia, Belgium, China, France, Great Britain, India, Iran, Italy, and Nigeria. Her paper presentation, “Managing Third-Party Platform Litigation Risk in Crowdfunding: Terms, Pricing, and Reputation,” was featured in the conference’s crowdfunding track. Other tracks included microfinance and community development finance.
“International conferences like this one are important ways to showcase the scholarship work we do at UT Law and its Clayton Center for Entrepreneurial Law,” said Heminway.
Each presenter was assigned two discussants to offer feedback with the ultimate goal of preparing presenters’ papers for near-term publication. Heminway says the feedback she received was valuable and that she is in the midst of applying the feedback to her paper. Heminway was also able to serve as a discussant for two other papers, one on agriculture and microfinance in Africa and one on crowdfunding and firm governance.
The event also allowed participants to tour Shanghai’s most impressive sites. Participants visited local microfinance lender Shanghai Changning Oriental Hongqiao Microloan Co., Ltd., the microloan company with the largest amount of investment capital in Shanghai. The firm treated participants to a dinner cruise along the Huangpu River, where everyone enjoyed beautiful views of Pudong and the Bund, two of Shanghai’s iconic urban architectural features.