Nov 28, 2018

Relive the European Microfinance Week plenary sessions on 'Financial Inclusion through Technology', 'Where next for microfinance: a view from The Founders' and 'Is there room left for the 'little guy'?: a debate on the relevance of Tier 2 & 3 MFIs' in the videos:

Opening Plenary: Financial Inclusion through Technology

It’s now a tradition that the European Microfinance Week opens with a plenary session featuring the finalists of the European Microfinance Award, the 100,000 euro prize awarded by the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. In 2018 on the topic of “Financial Inclusion through Technology”, the Award aims to highlight how financial services providers (FSPs) 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.

Friday plenary: Where next for microfinance: a view from The Founders

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.

Closing plenary: Is there room left for the 'little guy'?: a debate on the relevance of Tier 2 & 3 MFIs

Microfinance in some key markets has been facing head winds in the last three years. Many microfinance instiutions (MFIs) that were supposed to be on a strong growth trajectory have fallen short of the expectations and they are now struggling to reach scale. At the same time smaller institutions – tier 2 and tier 3 MFIs – sometimes have more resilience to shocks than expected, and are capable of closer relationships with clients – if not massive scale. Is there a continued role for these smaller MFIs – or indeed is the inexorable trend towards consolidation among a smaller number of larger players? This is an Oxford-style debate on these issues, on the motion “This House Believes there’s No Room Left for the ‘Little Guy’”. Two speakers take the Affirmative side, and two the Negative – arguing for the continued relevance of smaller institutions. and the winning team is presented with a trophy by a panel of adjudicators at the end of the debate.

Share this Story: