European Microfinance Award Background

The European Microfinance Award was launched in October 2005 by the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs – Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, to support innovative thinking in the microfinance sector. Awarded for the first time in 2006 and since 2014 an annual award, it is jointly organised by the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) and the Inclusive Finance Network Luxembourg (, in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Thursday, 30 November saw the long-awaited ceremony at the European Investment Bank for the European Microfinance Award 2017. The Award of €100,000 granted by the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs – Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs was won by Cooperative Tosepantomin.

Cooperative Tosepantomin is a Mexican cooperative that offers housing savings and loans combined with technical assistance to rural clients living in marginalised areas. Notable for its holistic approach to technical support, involving architecture planning, budgetary support and ongoing oversight of building processes, Tosepantomin was also recognised for its outstanding promotion of environmental responsibility through eco-friendly building techniques, recycling, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The High Jury reported a close decision, with outstanding applications from the two other finalists, Mibanco of Peru for its three housing products, including a long-term, collateralized mortgage, an incremental home improvement loan and a water and sanitation connection product; and The First MicroFinance Bank (FMFB) Afghanistan, for its home improvement loan, provided with construction technical assistance offered through a network of partner experts.

Press release: Cooperativa de Ahorro y Préstamo Tosepantomin (Mexico), winner of the 2017 European Microfinance Award (FR, ES)

Watch the videos presenting the winner and finalists

Visit the European Microfinance Award website

To learn more about the topic see our blog Launch of European Microfinance Award 2017 on Microfinance for Housing and NextBillion's blog Home Sweet Home: Mobilizing Microfinance for Housing.

Our video Why the European Microfinance Award? explains more about the aims and benefits of the Award:

The topic of the 2018 European Microfinance Award is "Financial Inclusion through Technology" and is intended to highlight how MFIs can use technology innovations to expand outreach, broaden product offerings, improve the client experience, and increase operating efficiency, all guided by an unwavering focus on socially responsible finance.

More information will be available mid-April.