The development of microfinance in Europe has encountered many legal and political obstacles. It is therefore important that the European Microfinance Network be strongly involved in advocacy on a wide range of issues related to microfinance, micro-enterprises, social and financial exclusion, self-employment and employment creation.
One of the many functions of the European Microfinance Network (EMN) is to organise debates and webinars addressing a wide range of subjects pertinent to microfinance in Europe. These activities are a chance to foster an exchange of ideas among different partners, and contribute to spreading knowledge of microfinance throughout Europe.
Every year since 2004, EMN organises its Annual Conference, a major meeting in the sector's agenda bringing together all its actors. Today, our conferences bring together around 250 participants with varying backgrounds, attract sponsors and investors along with EU representatives, and are a wonderful experience for information exchange and networking for everyone interested in European microfinance.
The European Microfinance Day initiative was launched in 2015 as a tool to highlight the impact of the microfinance sector in Europe from a social and an economic perspective.
The Social Inclusive Finance Technical Assistance (SIFTA) is the Technical Assistance programme that takes the baton from EasiTA, which ended on July 31, 2022.
The peer-to-peer exchange visits, exclusively intended for EMN members, provide each EMN member with the opportunity to visit another member on a specific theme, in order to deepen the understanding of their work, to encourage exchange of good practices and to develop expertise.
These bilateral exchanges, tailor-made to members' needs and expectations, also facilitate cooperation and collaboration between EMN members.
EMN organises Working Groups to strengthen the involvement of its members in the Network. The activities carried out by the different Working Groups are very diverse: organisation of workshops, elaboration of research papers, publications, creation of new tools for microfinance management, etc.
Microfinance clients are expected to be particularly affected by the COVID-19 crisis due to the nature of their activities (micro and small businesses) and their socio-economic background. The purpose of this project, run by EMN and supported by J.P.Morgan, is to deliver Technical Assistance to a selection of MFIs in order to build their capacity to ensure continuous, efficient, and adapted support to entrepreneurs in the COVID era.
The SFIDE project (Strengthening Financial Inclusion through Digitalisation in Europe) aims to investigate the potential of technological and financial innovation to increase the efficiency of the inclusive finance sector, through the identification and promotion of best practices. It is the partners' flagship project on digitalisation, a topic of utmost importance especially at the dawn of the post-COVID era for the European microfinance sector.
The PLOUTOS project is an AMFI-funded initiative that gathers a consortium of 11 partners from 7 EU member states. The consortium includes two Universities, two SMEs, one Banking, one Microfinance Association, one Public authority representative and 4 NGOs. This multi-stakeholder consortium aims to equip Third Country Nationals with skills and tools that will enable their transition from “outsiders” to “insiders” in their new communities.