Blog: Digital finance, housing and education dominate discussion at European Microfinance Week 2016
European Microfinance Week is the highlight of the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) calendar and a major annual event of the microfinance industry, hosting high-level discussions by all sectors of the European microfinance community working in developing countries. The conference each year welcomes among the 400 participants much of the Platform's membership, now over 120 organisations and individuals. This year's conference was particularly special, being the tenth anniversary of e-MFP, and a perfect opportunity to reflect on how much has changed in the past decade, and how much there is to expect in the decade ahead.
The conference, held over 16th-18th November, took a different approach than previous editions. Rather than a single overarching theme, the conference provided equal focus to six main streams: green microfinance; investors, donors and funders; rural finance; social performance; and digital innovations and the 2016 European Microfinance Award topic of Access to Education. 24 workshops within these streams complemented three plenary sessions: 'Microfinance and Access to Education'; 'Microfinance and Housing, One Brick at a Time'; and 'Digital Finance: Full Inclusion or Empty Promise?', as well as the Platform's Action Groups, which met on Wednesday 16th November to present their work, and discuss what to do over the coming year. Publications and papers were presented, reflecting the core vision and mission of the platform: to build a memberships base that can leverage their actions and networks to increase impact and foster responsible financial inclusion.