In this time of change your social mission is becoming one of your main asset and a clear way to make a difference. But for that you need to be able to show your social added value and your social impact. How can you measure your social impact in a meaningful way? This workshop looked at models that can help you attract funders interested in social gains.
Moderator: Geert Jan Schuite – TriodosFacet (The Netherlands)
Speakers: Sean Dennis – Capitalise Business Support (UK); Jim Mcloughlin – Capitalise Business Support (UK); Veronika Thiel – The Centre for Responsible Credit (UK); Micol Pistelli - The Mix (USA)
In the recent years institutions started to have to deal with a growing number of over-indebted clients. Hard competition, low financial education, unfair practices of lending have put people in the vicious circle of overindebtedness. How do you know your clients are not getting into more debt than they can handle? What actions have you taken to manage this increasing problem? An open discussion.
Changing scale, increasing outreach is one of the main challenges of the micro- and community finance. For that new markets shall be identified and served with different types of services and products. Such a change is possible, but should not make you forget about your social mission. Danger of mission drift is the risk of any expansion, as it might be easier to deal with people not too excluded. How do you identify and reach new markets, creating and selling products that work? Find out from those who have done it.
This session was about getting an update of the latest and most ambitious European programme for microfinance (including information on PROGRESS and JASMINE). What are its objectives, how will it develop over the next three years, how does it fit in with the rest of the EIF/EC programmes earmarked for microfinance? What they mean for you?
One of the direct impacts of the current crisis on micro- and community finance has been increasing difficulties for organisations to be paid back on time. Recent European surveys show that 80% of institutions declared being affected by late or default payment. Delinquency rates have a huge impact on your business and its sustainability. Find out how to keep them low and manage them well.
New technology and innovation should be a driving force to the sector to make the difference, improving access, outreach and sustainability.This session presented unique tools to manage microcredit applications and provide business services on-line for the various actors (e.g. MFIs, credit brokers, book-keepers, advisors, etc.) of the microfinance sector. An open debate.
Credit unions could play a major role in microfinance, having the ability to mobilize savings and being close to people in need. Different models of European financial institutions have been developed, addressing the needs of non-bankable people, in order to cover their needs of financial support, both for personal and productive activities. This session included a presentation of the credit union model in Belgium and in Romania.
Reaching out more people is one of the key challenges of the sector. Because the persons we want to serve are often excluded or exclude themselves, they are pretty difficult to reach and organisations need to have an effective communication But a good communication is also essential to be sure that our messages, our activities are well known by a large public and can attract extra investment in order to fulfil our mission and reach more people. Engaging a wide range of audiences is critical to the success of your business. How can you tell your story so that it captures their imaginations and reach more people?
Capitalising on the positive opportunities coming out of the recent GHK evaluation report on the sector, this workshop demonstrated how CDFIs can position themselves for sustainability and transparency in building capacity and leveraging funds. The cdfa is leading the way by using Change Matters as the foundation for strength and growth in the sector.
Moderator: Bernie Morgan – cdfa (UK)
Speakers: Nick Henry - GHK Consulting (UK); Seb Aslan - Community Development Finance Policy, BIS (UK)
Over-indebtedness, low financial education, aggressive credit offers, lack of transparent interest rates ... more and more clients of micro- and community finance are facing difficult times in understanding what is happening, what are the offers and services available in the market, how to make the best choice, how their confidentiality can be protected. The session analysed how institutions have started to respond to this changing environment. An open discussion.
Moderator: Naomi Kingsley – London Rebuilding Society (UK)
Speakers: Anne Françoise Lefebvre – WSBI (Belgium); Eric Thompson – Moneyline Yorkshire (UK)
With an increasing number of unemployed people and less and less jobs offered by companies, setting up its own job by becoming self-employed can represent a real opportunity for thousands of people. Thus an appropriate environment needs to be in place to facilitate such move and support the self-employed. This session will present the latest development in the UK and France context. A lively debate looking at this topical issue.
With microfinance sectors growing more mature and policy interest in non-bank microcredit provision rising throughout Europe the public spotlight lies on the MFIs: Are they capable to deliver on their goals? Are they here for the long run? From the MFI's perspective this is a crucial time to reevaluate and improve their organisational aims, setup and procedures. The workshop presented the underlying concept of capacity building and how it applies to European microfinance providers. It brings together the main stakeholders of the recent Technical Assistance initiative by the European Commission and EIF to discuss with you how you can use this initiative to strengthen your organisation. A lively debate.
Moderator: Michael Unterberg – EVERS&JUNG (Germany)
Speakers: Aldo Moauro – Microfinanza Rating (Italy); Cyril Gouiffès – EIF (Luxemburg) – Georgi Breskovski – Microfond (Bulgaria); Piotr Korynski – MFC (Poland)
In the last EMN survey 74% of institutions declared that the crisis has affected them, either at their institutional level or at the client level. This session analysed how much the microfinance sector has been affected by the financial crisis, which coping strategies MFIs have employed to reduce the effects and which are the challenges for the coming years.
This workshop presented and discussed the results of the European Microcredit Research Award selected papers.
Moderator: Cazey Conzett – Nantik Lum (Spain)
Speakers: Pal Vik – Community Finance Solutions - Salford University (UK); Karl Dayson – Community Finance Solutions - Salford University (UK); Michal Matul – ILO (Switzerland); Ana Irimia Dieguez – Universidad de Sevilla (Spain)