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About us

About EMN

The EUROPEAN MICROFINANCE NETWORK (EMN) is a member-based not-for-profit organisation based in Brussels, which promotes microfinance as a tool to fight social and financial exclusion in Europe through self-employment and the creation of microenterprises. It is the Network’s mission to facilitate capacity building and to carry out advocacy in order to foster the development of its members and the sector.

EMN’s core membership is firstly made up of microfinance Practitioners. These are social purpose organisations delivering financial services to the underserved or facilitating access to such services. The work of the network is also supported by Partners and Corporate Members, which are organisations involved in European microfinance issues; such as national networks, academia, service providers to the sector or banks that support the development of microfinance in Europe. Check out our members’ section if you want to find out more about our members or join the Network. 

Making the voice of European MFIs heard

Microfinance is a very diverse field but it is, nevertheless, context-specific. Microfinance in West, East, South, and North-European countries evolves in very different environments. EMN strives to listen to the expectations and needs of its members and to find common ground between them all, in order to represent them as well as possible and to speak with one voice.

The Network is always keen to meet new microfinance and social inclusion specialists (academics, researchers, trainers, experts, etc.) who can participate in studies, analyses, evaluation missions, and training sessions. 

Please contact EMN for more information on its activities and on the different ways in which you could actively contribute to the development of the Network and of European microfinance in general.

History

The EMN was launched in 2003 by its founding members: Adie - France, NEF - UK and evers&jung - Germany, and with the support of the European Commission and the French Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC). 

In December 2012, EMN transferred its activities from France to Belgium. Under Belgian law, EMN constitutes an aisbl (“association internationale sans but lucratif” or “international non-profit association”). For more information on the aisbl, download the Bylaws. 

Mission and Vision

Mission

Our mission is to advocate on behalf of the microfinance sector, as well as to facilitate capacity building at European level by promoting transparency, best practice, good governance and research among social purpose organisations who provide financial services to the underserved or who facilitate access to such services.

Vision

We envision a society in which all those who are financially and socially excluded have access to a full range of financial and complementary support services, which empower them to start new ventures, to consolidate existing businesses and to finance personal needs that improve their lives.

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The Board

The European Microfinance Network is administered by a Board of Directors composed of at least three members and a maximum of seven members, chosen among the Members of the Network. At least two thirds of the Board Members must be social purpose organisations (MFIs or "practitioners") delivering financial services to the underserved or facilitating access to such services. No more than two members can be from the same European country.

Each Board Member is appointed for a three-year term. A member can be re-elected a maximum of two times.

  • Elwin Groenevelt

    President of the Board

    Elwin Groenevelt is the founder and CEO of Qredits Microfinancein the Netherlands. Elwin studied business administration for the financial sector in Amsterdam.

    He started his financial services career as a management trainee at Credit Lyonnais Bank in the Netherlands. Upon completion, he became Senior Account Manager for Generale Bank. During the merger of Generale and Fortis, he was a staff member of the board of directors. Elwin was employed in 2000 as a Branch Manager for Fortis Bank, in the Retail Banking Division. He advanced to District Manager in 2002 and in 2004 was promoted to Regional Director of the eastern part of the Netherlands.

    In 2006, during his tenure with Fortis Bank, Elwin initiated the successful project Microfinance in the Netherlands at Fortis. As a result of this success, Elwin was asked to work with the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Hague to help set up the first national microfinance program in the Netherlands. In 2009, he founded Qredits. 

    Elwin was elected as President of the EMN Board in June 2017.

    Profile picture for user Elwin Groenevelt
  • Dominique De Crayencour

    Vice-President

    Dominique de Crayencour is Secretary General of both the European Long-Term Investors Association (ELTI) and the Club of Long-Term Investors (LTIC). He is also board member of Impulse Europe.

    He started his career in the World Bank before moving to commercial and investment banking with Morgan Guarantee Trust Company of NY. He joined the European investment bank (EIB) in 1980 where he spent some 32 years in various positions until 2012 when he retired as honorary Director General.

    Dominique has also been alternate Director in the EBRD Board, EIB representative in the EU Economic and Financial Committee (EFC), EIB Sherpa in the Club of Long Term Investors (LTIC) and Board Member of the Microfinance Centre (MFC).

    He holds a Master’s of Economics and Bachelor’s of Philosophy from Université Catholique de Louvain and Master of Business Administration from Cornell University (USA) in 1974.

    Dominique was elected as Vice-President of the EMN Board in June 2016.

    Profile picture for user Dominique De Crayencour
  • Guillem Aris Coderch

    Vice-President

    Guillem Aris Coderch is founder and CEO at Autoocupacio & Youth Business Spain. He has spent more than 20 years promoting entrepreneurship and providing financial and non-financial services to support underserved young entrepreneurs.

    He was also Founder & CFO at Banc, the Catalan Business Angels Network, and Reempresa, the Catalan Transfer Business Centre.

    Guillem is also an active member of the European Business Angels Network.

    He holds a degree in Economics and Business Management from the Barcelona University.

    Guillem was elected as Vice-President of the EMN Board in June 2015.

    Profile picture for user Guillem Aris Coderch
  • Corrado Ferretti

    Treasurer

    Corrado Ferretti is President of the microcredit company PerMicro in Italy. 

    Graduated with a Master’s degree in Economics from Rome LUISS, Corrado has previously worked as a consultant, board member and auditor of tourism, as well as in banking services and TLC companies.In 1984, Ferretti founded GFItalia, a consumer credit company which was sold to Cofinoga - Galeries Lafayette in 1996. From 1996 to 2000 he was President of Aosta Valley Bank and MontBlanc Cableways.

    From 2000 to 2006, he worked in TLC and internet activities supported by venture capital. Today, Corrado is also President of the Saussurea Foundation and International School of Turin.
    He was elected as Treasurer of the EMN aisbl Board in June 2017.

    Profile picture for user Corrado Ferretti
  • Patrick Sapy

    Secretary General

    Patrick began his career in 1993 at Adie as microcredit advisor. In 1995, he left Adie while remaining a volunteer, to pursue a banking career, firstly within Banques Populaires then with Sao Paolo-IMI. In 2001, he returned to Adie as Regional Director of the Ile-de-France. He pursued his career as Finance Director of Partnerships. In 2008, he developed a program aimed at social entrepreneurs.

    In 2010, he began the microStart adventure. In a very short time, his team made microStart a dynamic institution, widely recognised in the Belgian microfinance field.

    Patrick joined the EMN aisbl Board in June 2013 as Vice-President and was elected as President of Board in June 2014 and reelected in June 2016.
    In June 2017, he was elected as Secretary General of the EMN Board.

    Profile picture for user Patrick Sapy
  • Marie Degrand-Guillaud

    Marie Degrand-Guillaud is a member of the Executive Committee of Adie. She is also involved in the microfinance sector at international level; as a board member of microStart (Belgium) and AFI (Greece) and supporting the development of Microlux in Luxembourg and Taysir in Tunisia.

    As Development & International Director at Adie, Marie is in charge of both marketing and product development, strategy & innovation and the microfranchising initiative in France, as well as international development. She also manages a private social investment fund dedicated to Adie’s microfranchising initiative.

    Marie is a graduate of ESCP Europe. She has also followed the International Social Entrepreneurship Programme at INSEAD and is a committed social entrepreneur.

    Profile picture for user Marie Degrand-Guillaud
  • Nikolay Yarmov

    Nikolay Yarmov has been a NACHALA Bulgaria Board Member since 2006. He is responsible for NACHALA’s strategic planning and fundraising. He also covers all external relations with international organisations, donors and investors. Additionally, he is a founding member and CEO of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development (CEED Bulgaria).

    Nikolay has more than 20 years of extensive hands-on experience in entrepreneurship, finance, private sector growth, SME development and microfinance. As Senior Private Sector Advisor with USAID, he developed and implemented a successful $50 million firm-level assistance program.

    In recognition of his professionalism and achievements, he has received various honours, including Meritorious Honor Awards, the Franklin Award and Federal Certificates. Nikolay has an M.Sc. in Forecasting and Strategic Planning with a focus on “Corporate Finance & Financial Management”. He has a Master’s degree in International Economics and he completed microfinance studies at Boulder/Colorado and New Hampshire University, USA.

    Profile picture for user Nikolay Yarmov

The team

Annual Reports

The EMN Annual Report offers our members and other interested parties information about the network's action plan, activities and financial performance throughout the preceding year.

EMN annual report 2016

Throughout 2016, EMN continued to increase its activities in order to better represent the interests of the microfinance industry in Europe and, in a period of constant evolution of the sector, EMN has succeeded in delivering a variety of impactful activities.

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EMN annual report 2015

Throughout the European Year for Development 2015, EMN continued to increase its advocacy efforts, encouraging greater participation and promoting best practices across the European microfinance community, to ensure that our sector rightly plays a role in social and financial inclusion.

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EMN annual report 2014

During the 2014 European Year of Citizenship, EMN has continued to work hard on advocacy, encouraging greater participation and promoting best practices across the European sector, to ensure that microfinance rightly plays a role in social and financial inclusion and is a key support tool for underserved populations: in line with the 2014 European Year theme and in accordance with the EU 2020 strategy, EMN activities focused on promoting and enhancing social and financial inclusion among this EU citizenship.

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EMN annual report 2013

2013 was the “European Year of Citizens”, dedicated to the rights that come with EU citizenship. In line with the 2013 European Year theme and in accordance with the EU 2020 strategy, EMN activities focused on the rights that come with EU citizenship, particularly on social and financial inclusion and the role of microfinance for migrants.

2013 was a significant year for the development of the European Microfinance Network for several reasons, and as a result of various activities and performances.

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EMN annual report 2012

2012 was a year of big change at the Secretariat, one that began with the recruiting a new team and culminated with the registration of the EMN in Belgium in December. Microfinance remained an important tool in the battle against exclusion, fostering entrepreneurship and helping people generate income. The number of active EMN members continued to grow representing organisations across 21 European countries.

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EMN annual report 2011

2011 was a significant year for the development of the European Microfinance Network in all three of the areas outlined in EMN’s strategic plan for 2011-2013.

It was an extremely challenging and inspiring year for EMN and its members. We took more than one step in expanding our operations to reach out to an ever-growing number of people who are socially and financially excluded. And we were continuously searching for new ways to become sustainable organisations. A real challenge indeed. 

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EMN annual report 2010

The growing membership of EMN and its diversity highlights the recognition of the network’s work in the microfinance sector in Europe. Supporting development and providing technical and organisational assistance to its members continue to be priorities for EMN.

The network also relied on the exchange of good practices and transparency among all European players.

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Funding Partners

Do you want to Fund EMN or partner with us?

EMN is constantly looking for new partners to support its existing initiatives (events, trainings, research initiatives, projects…) and to plan new ones. We have plenty of ideas, just let us know and we will be happy to share them with you and to individuate some potential space for cooperation.

For further information please contact Bruno Cassola b.cassola@european-microfinance.org

EC is a fundamental EMN partner, as it is supporting most of our initiatives

Logo European Commission

The European Union, represented by the European Commission - DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion - supports the European Microfinance Network aisbl within a 4-year (2014-2017) framework partnership agreement, in the mark of the new EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) contributing to the achievement of the EU 2020 Strategy.  

EMN public and private partners in 2017

In 2017, EMN had the support of the following partners. Thanks to all of you for having supported the 2017 EMN initiatives!  And hopefully to support the future ones!

Project Partners

EaSI Technical Assistance

EaSI TA

EaSI Technical Assistance (EaSI TA) is a part of the first axis of the Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) Programme which is an EU level financing instrument, funded by the European Commission. Its third axis aims to increase the availability and accessibility of microfinance for vulnerable groups and micro enterprises, build up the institutional capacity of microcredit providers and increase access to finance for social enterprises.

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Learn more

ATM for SMEs

ATM for SMEs

Since April 2016, EMN has been an advisory partner in the “ATM for SMEs” project which has the aim of improving access to microfinance for small and medium enterprises.

The project title “ATM for SMEs – Access to Microfinance for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises” evokes the core idea which was developed by 10 partners, that of preventing financial exclusion and the lack of access to credit which in fact represent serious obstacles to business creation in many European regions. In this framework, the microfinancing of SMEs and the support to social entrepreneurship is an already tested and proven tool which can contribute to a high level of quality and sustainable employment, reducing disparities and poverty.

Learn more