"Microfinance and its Growth in Europe: consequences, challenges, opportunities"
On 4 and 5 June 2009, EMN organised its 6th Annual Conference which was held in Milan (Italy).
During this major event, EMN, the leading professional network in the region, welcomed around 350 participants among whom practitioners, bankers, researchers, investors, local government and European Commission representatives, policy makers, the private sector and the media.
This year’s Conference was co-organised with Giordano Dell’Amore Foundation and with the support of EMN Italian members as well as RITMI, the Italian Microfinance Network. The Conference was also financially supported by the European Commission, the Levi Strauss Foundation, Intesa San Paolo, the Fondazione Cariplo, the Compagnia di San Paolo, Ubi Banca, BNL, the Fondazione CRT, MicroBank la Caixa and Crédit Coopératif.
This 6th Annual Conference offered the opportunity to discuss the exchange of good practices for growth in the sector with a special focus on the inclusion dimension of microfinance which has proven to be a powerful tool in the fight against poverty and social exclusion.
The current international crisis is a unique opportunity to challenge the sector to respond to the needs of more and more unemployed people who are interested in starting and developing their own activities. However, this will only be possible with a change of scale and outreach, the main focus of this conference. This will also be possible thanks to two initiatives from the Commission:
- The last Communication from the European Commission (July 2008) on the strengthening of the Social Open Method of Coordination, is a unique opportunity to reaffirm how microfinance can be a powerful instrument for promoting active inclusion and especially for developing an inclusive labour market in Europe.
- The new European programme JASMINE officially announced in Nice at the 5th EMN Annual Conference (Sept. 2008), represents a real chance for the sector to grow more rapidly by providing financial and technical assistance. 2009 was an important year for the launching of this programme.
- Furthermore this conference was the opportunity to present for the first time the "Award Europe" on Microfinance Good Practices.
The overall satisfaction of the Conference was high: 81.4% of the participants stated they were either satisfied or very satisfied. To access the conference's evaluation, click here