As microfinance enters its 5th decade, it continues to evolve. This year's spotlight on the role of technology and digital finance at the European Microfinance Week is another testament to this ongoing change. This plenary is a rare opportunity to hear the unparalleled perspective of the Founders of Microfinance. Each of the panelists -- Ms. Ben Hamida and Ms. Velasco -- were founders of the very first MFIs in their countries, dating back to the 1980s and 90s, with each institution having grown from those earliest days into leading institutions in their countries and regions, and whose leadership inspired countless others along the way. All along this long journey, Prof. Siebel has been studying and sharing the experience of both informal and formal financial providers from around the world, and was among the first to popularize the term -- microfinance -- that we all take for granted today.