The aim of this initiative is to raise awareness at European level of the existence and added-value of the microfinance sector in its fight against social exclusion and unemployment.

For this third edition of the European Microfinance Day, EMN and MFC will ask their members to organise local-level activities to spread the meaning and function of microfinance. The members have the possibility to organise the day in such a way that it best serves the development of the microfinance sector in their respective areas of activity. 

Main objectives of the European Microfinance Day

To raise awareness among European citizens on the existence of microfinance and on its value to fight unemployment and social exclusion.

♣ To draw the attention of European media on how microfinance works in Europe and how it supports and helps the unemployed and European citizens excluded from the traditional financial sector.

To exchange experiences within the European microfinance sector by giving visibility to the work of EMN & MFC members.

To allow local members to draw the spotlight on their achievements and their missions at local level

Some figures about the microfinance sector in Europe

The microfinance sector in Europe is quickly becoming a relevant tool to avoid social & financial exclusion through the provision of financial and business development services and the promotion of self-employment and job creation across the continent.

The data obtained from the EMN and MFC extended membership across Europe confirms the growing role of the sector.

  1. 552,834 microloans disbursed in 2015 (vs. 390,000 in 2013)

  2. 58% & 42% business/personal loans (vs. 79% & 21% in 2013)

  3. Average loan EUR 6,072 (vs. 8,507 in 2013)

  4. Approximately EUR 1.6 bn. in loans in 2015 (vs. 1.5 bn. in 2013)

  5. 207,983 microenterprises & start-ups supported with financial and non-financial services (vs. 121,270 in 2013)

These figures highlight the importance of the microfinance sector in order to tackle some of the most important challenges in our current society: unemployment, social exclusion, lack of entrepreneurship, etc.

A minimum of 207,983 microenterprises and start-ups were supported in 2015. If it is assumed that, on average, two jobs are created/preserved in the supported microenterprises and start-ups, the resulting number of jobs created by the loans in 2015 is at least 400,000 throughout Europe. If the analysis is limited to EU member states, the calculation has an impact on at least 140,000 jobs created or maintained per year (in 2015: 69,661 supported microenterprises and start-ups).

At the same time, microcredit also helps stimulate local economies and contribute to the generation of tax revenues. These benefits are not always computed. According to the "social return on investment" tool, each euro invested in a microfinance institution generated 3.6 euro in the United Kingdom (Department of Business, Innovation & Skills). This leverage potential enhances the role of microfinance as one of the main options to be included in the plans for re-launching investment in Europe.

The previous data highlights the importance of microfinance as a fundamental tool, in terms of cost-benefit, in order to sustain the budgetary efforts of national governments.