Skip to main content

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 advocate on behalf of the sector.

EMN’s core membership is 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; organisations such as national networks, academia, service providers to the sector or banks that are involved in European microfinance issues and that support the development of microfinance in Europe. Check out our members’ section to find out more about our members or to join the Network. 

Making the voice of European MFIs heard

Microfinance is a very diverse field but it is, nevertheless, context-specific. Microfinance in Western, Eastern, Southern, and Northern 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

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 for transparency and good governance in the European microfinance sector, while developing capacity building, promoting best practices and fostering research within and beyond the membership.

Vision

We envision a society in which those excluded by the conventional banking system have access to a full range of financial and support services, empowering them to finance personal needs, consolidate existing businesses, and start new ventures to improve their lives.

Image

The Board

The European Microfinance Network is administered by a Board of Directors made up of a maximum of seven organisations, chosen from the Network's list of members. At least two thirds of the board members must be social purpose organisations (MFIs or "practitioners") that deliver financial services to the underserved or that facilitate 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 and can be re-elected a maximum of two times.

  • Elwin Groenevelt

    President of the Board

    Elwin Groenevelt is the founder and CEO of Qredits Microfinance (2009) in the Netherlands.

    Elwin studied business administration for the financial sector in Amsterdam and started his financial services career as a management trainee at Credit Lyonnais Bank. 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 started at Fortis Bank in 2000 and rose to the rank of Regional Director.

    In 2006, during his tenure at Fortis Bank, Elwin initiated the successful project Microfinance. Following its success, Elwin was asked to work with the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the Hague to help set up the first national microfinance programme in the country.

    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 a board member of Inpulse and member of the European Commission’s expert group on “Social Economy and Social Enterprise“.

    Dominique began his career at the World Bank before moving to commercial and investment banking with the 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 of 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 from Université Catholique de Louvain and Master's 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
  • Laure Coussirat-Coustère

    Secretary General

    Graduated from HEC Business School in Paris, Laure joined Adie in 1999 as a loan officer.

    From 2004 onwards she successively occupied several central positions in the organisation such as Marketing director, Audit director and Financial Director. Since 2018 she is Adie’s Deputy CEO in charge of finance, human resources, information system and fund raising. She manages a team of over 50 people.

    Over the years, Laure conducted various significant projects, such as the participatory construction of Adie’s strategic plan for the period 2018-2020, the urbanisation of Adie’s M.I.S and the implementation of innovative assets & liabilities management tools.

    Laure replaced Marie Degrand-Guilllaud as Vice-President of the EMN Board in March 2019.

    Profile picture for user Laure Coussirat-Coustère
  • Peter Surek

    Treasurer

    Peter Surek is Head of Social banking at Erste Group, CEO of good.bee Holding and the Supervisory Board Chairman of good.bee Credit, Romanian microfinance company. He is a retail and social banker with 20+ years of experience in different Central and Eastern European markets. After graduation at the University of Economics in Bratislava, Slovakia, he started his career in Tatra banka, Slovakia from the bottom and spent 8 years going through almost all the positions in the retail branch network. Within his engagement with Raiffeisen Bank International he was managing multiple projects in Austria, Albania and Croatia and in 2009-2011 he co-founded the new direct bank, leading products and business processes development.

    In 2011 he joined Erste Group as the Head of the new established Retail MIS unit. After getting to know the social background of Erste, he decided to leave his retail career for developing social banking in the CEE countries. Since May 2013 he leads the new created unit Social banking development, reporting directly to Erste Group CEO. Within the last years he has consistently implemented social banking in all Erste core markets, building thus Europe-wide unique platform for financial inclusion. As a result Erste Group got awarded in 2018 by Euromoney as Best Corporate Responsibility Bank in Central and Eastern Europe.

    Peter was elected to the EMN Board in October 2018 and was appointed as EMN Treasurer.

    Profile picture for user Peter Surek
  • Andrea Limone

    Andrea Limone is President at PerMicro (and former CEO for 12 years), first MFI in Italy specialised in small loans for the startup and development of small enterprises as well as for primary needs of families.

    He holds a degree in Economics at the University of Turin and has a Master in Microfinance at the University of Bergamo. Andrea is partner of a social cooperative, critical consumer, slow runner and founder of the Association Atomi Onlus, now MicroLab. Before launching PerMicro in 2007, he worked for Banca Etica, Mag2 Finance, and he was a researcher for Fondazione Giordano Dell’Amore.

    He has published two volumes on microcredit and the banking system: “Banche e Microfinanza” and “Otto modi di dire microcredito”.

    He was elected member of the EMN Board in October 2018.

    Profile picture for user Andrea Limone
  • Óscar Ugarte

    Director of the management company Seed Capital Bizkaia since 2008, a public private Risk Capital entity with a long track record in Seed Capital operations. This company manages three Investment funds (one of the funds is focused in Social Impact Investments) and one venture capital entity named as Seed Mikro.

    CEO of Seed Mikro venture capital company specialized in microfinance operations.

    Likewise, he has recently created an Equity Crowdfunding Platform with the objective of reinforcing the alternative financing market for the companies of the territory. Previously, he has experience in different areas of management in the computer sector and the electricity sector.

    Óscar was elected to the EMN Board in October 2018.

    Profile picture for user Óscar Ugarte

The team

  • Caroline Lentz

    Partnerships Manager & Deputy Director

    Caroline joined the EMN team in June 2012

    Responsibilities

    • Programming management, mainly EMN’s Grant Agreement with the EC
    • Monitoring EMN's activities, including capacity building events, communications & policy and research, together with the team
    • Coordination of Social Performance Management Think Tanks and the Annual Conference Idea Lab
    Profile picture for user Caroline Lentz
  • Nicola Benaglio

    Senior Research Officer

    Nicola joined the EMN team in January 2015

    Responsibilities

    • Coordination of tenders and work programmes for research activities
    • Identification of EU policy trends related to the sector and canvassing of partnerships with peer networks at EU level
    • Monitoring of main funding opportunities including screening for EU calls for proposals/grants
    • Coordination/participation in working groups
    Profile picture for user Nicola Benaglio
  • Kate Mazoyer

    Events Officer

    Kate joined the EMN team in April 2015

    Responsibilities

    • Organisation of EMN events, including the EMN Annual Conference and the European Microfinance Day central event
    • Management of EMN's Framework Partnership Agreement with the European Commission, including year-round monitoring of the contract and the reporting
    • Coordination of EMN’s External Evaluation
    Profile picture for user Kate Mazoyer
  • Emmanuelle Duez

    Finance and Administration Officer

    Emmanuelle joined the EMN team in July 2017

    Responsibilities

    • Accounting Assistance and Financial Management
    • Treasury
    • Budget Management
    • General Administration
    Profile picture for user Emmanuelle Duez
  • Adriana Olmedo

    Network and Training Officer

    Adriana joined the EMN team in June 2019.

    Responsibilities

    • Development of EMN’s capacity building activities for the sector, technical assistance and training services.
    • Organisation and implementation of workshops and thematic seminars in the framework of the EaSI TA project
    • Network enhancement, development of relationship and value proposition for the members of EMN
    Profile picture for user Adriana Olmedo
  • Vianney Stoll

    Communications Officer

    Vianney joined the EMN team in July 2019

    Responsibilities

    • Design and implementation of the EMN communication strategy
    • Management and coordination of website contents and the social media strategy
    • Planning and execution of EMN communication campaigns
    • Coordination and edition of EMN newsletters and communications
    Profile picture for user Vianney Stoll
  • Francesca Preve

    Project & Administrative Assistant

    Irene joined the EMN team in October 2019.

    Responsibilities

    • Support the Network & Training Officer during the implementation and reporting of EU funded projects
    • Support the EMN team with office and administrative tasks
    • Support the organisation of EMN Events
  • Marie Vial

    Advocacy Officer

    Marie joined the team in July 2021.

    Responsibilities

    • Coordination of the network’s advocacy activities
    • Contact between European policymakers and advocacy stakeholders within the EMN network
    • Support to members to improve the regulatory frameworks at national level

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 2020

What a year to look back upon! While there is surely no need to remind anyone of the COVID-19 pandemic that took the world by storm in the early months of 2020, it is essential to reflect together on the silver linings of this storm.

file_download Download
Annual Report 2019 cover EMN annual report 2019

Looking back on 2019, we can confidently say that it has been another great year for EMN and the European microfinance sector as we spearheaded the sector’s endeavours towards greater recognition of its impact on the lives of those excluded by the traditional banking system.

file_download Download
Annual Report 2018 cover EMN annual report 2018

2018 has been a year in which our activities have significantly increased, enhancing the collaboration with our members and our main partners.

file_download Download
EMN Annual Report EMN annual report 2017

In 2017, EMN welcomed 27 new members which brings our total to 108. Throughout this year, EMN worked hard to better represent the interests of our members and the microfinance industry in Europe as a whole.

file_download Download
EMN annual report 2016

In 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 successfully delivered a variety of impactful activities.

file_download Download
EMN annual report 2015

In 2015, the European Year for Development, EMN increased its advocacy efforts, encouraging greater participation, promoting best practices across the European microfinance sector and ensuring that the sector rightly played a role in social and financial inclusion.

file_download Download
EMN annual report 2014

In 2014, the European Year of Citizenship, EMN continued its hard work and focussed its activities on promoting and enhancing social and financial inclusion among the EU citizenship, in accordance with the EU 2020 strategy.

file_download Download
EMN annual report 2013

2013, the European Year of Citizens, was a significant year for EMN's development. EMN's activities focused on the rights that come with EU citizenship, particularly social and financial inclusion, and on the role of microfinance for migrants.

file_download Download
EMN annual report 2012

2012 saw many changes in EMN: a new team was recruited & EMN was registered in Belgium. The number of active members steadily grew representing organisations in 21 European countries. Microfinance remained an important tool to battle exclusion & to foster entrepreneurship.

file_download Download
EMN annual report 2011

2011 was a significant year for EMN's development in the three areas outlined in our 2011-2013 strategic plan. It was a challenging but insipring year for the Network and its members. Steps were made to reach a growing number of people who are socially & financially excluded.

file_download Download
EMN annual report 2010

2010 saw a growing and diverse membership base in the Network, in recognition of our work in the European microfinance sector. Priorities were supporting development and providing technical & organisational assistance to members. Exchanges of good practices were also fostered.

file_download Download
chevron_right
chevron_left

Funding Partners

Do you want to partner with us?

EMN is always looking for new partners to support its existing initiatives (events, training sessions, research initiatives, projects…) and to plan new ones. We have plenty of ideas, so get in touch and we will be happy to share our potential partnership opportunities with you.

For further information, please contact EMN at emn@european-microfinance.org

The European Commission is our main partner and supports most of our initiatives

Logo European Commission

The European Microfinance Network receives financial support from the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation "EaSI" through a 4-year (2018-2021) framework partnership agreement, contributing to the achievement of the EU 2020 Strategy.  

EMN public and private partners in 2018

In 2018, EMN was supported in its actions by the below partners. Thank you to all our partners for your generous support for our 2018 initiatives. We hope to count on this support again in 2019 and beyond!

Project Partners

EaSI Technical Assistance to the microcredit sector

European Union

EaSI Technical Assistance

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.

Learn more

ATM for SMEs

ATM for SMEs

Access to Microfinance for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

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.

Learn more