This training course is composed of four sections which review the main aspects of operating microfinance activities in Western Europe. It first gives a historical and geographical perspective of how the sector developed in the world, highlighting the specifics of Western Europe. Then it focuses on Western Europe and reviews the products and services offered by microfinance institutions, the organisational aspects of operating microfinance activities, the management of resources (financial, human and technical) and the measurement of social performance. It combines lectures, practical applications in groups and individually, while ample time is dedicated to sharing experiences amongst participants from their work in various countries.
Western Europe has only recently engaged in microfinance activities compared to other parts of the world. A sustainable and sophisticated sector has been established in a number of developing and Eastern Europe countries, which Western Europe can learn from. This section reviews the background of the sector in other continents and the achievements so far. It highlights the similarities and differences with Western Europe to come up with a shared definition of «microfinance».
After highlighting the diversity of products and services delivered by microfinance organisations in Western Europe, this section introduces good practices for developing and improving products and services to make sure they are tailored to the people's needs. Then, it introduces a few examples of loan processes and ways of assessing the risks of a given application. Finally, the section looks at a critical issue for Western Europe microfinance institutions: creating and increasing deal flows.
As the sector remains relatively young in Western Europe, most organisations tend to be focused on operational issues to make sure they deliver the right product to the right people. However, it is becoming critical for each institution to improve its organisation and optimise the management of its resources (financial, human and technical). This section introduces all these aspects and provides with key recommendations regarding the management of a microfinance institution. Financial aspects are covered in details; typical performance indicators are presented, including ratios to measure the quality of the loan portfolio. A sub-section gives recommendations as to how to approach information systems issues.
This section looks at ways of measuring the social performance of the organisation. It is important that from the beginning an organisation gets a clear idea on how to reach its objectives, its social mission. This part will analyse the impact measurement and what type of indicators can be used.
English, French or Spanish
Senior and mid-level managers from Western European microfinance organisation, donors and regulators involved in the microfinance sector, new comers in the sector.
One or two days