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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 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.

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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 country.

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

The proceedings of the latest Board election, that took place during the EMN General Assembly on 14 October 2021 in Brussels, Belgium, are available here.

  • Laure Coussirat-Coustère

    President of the Board

    Laure Coussirat-Coustère joined Adie in 1999. Mobilized on field activities with entrepreneurs, she developed the action of Adie in Seine-Saint-Denis (Paris region) for 5 years, with a particular focus on deprived areas of this vulnerable territory. She set up the 1st Adie branch in the department in 2001. She was in charge of fundraising (local governments) and onboarding and training of volunteers for Paris region. She then joined the Adie headquarters in 2004 to manage the network in metropolitan France and overseas, develop innovative distribution projects in deprived urban and rural areas, and create new financial services (personal microcredit, microinsurance).

    She specialized in the management of central services: call centers, recovery, digital marketing, then moved to manage the financial teams of Adie from 2012. Since 2018, as Deputy Director General, she supervises the finance department, the human resources department, the credit risk department, and the information systems department.

    Laure replaced Elwin Groenevelt as President of the EMN Board in October 2021.

    Profile picture for user Laure Coussirat-Coustère
  • 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, then re-elected in October 2021.

    Profile picture for user Dominique De Crayencour
  • Andrea Limone

    Secretary General

    Andrea Limone is President at PerMicro (and former CEO for 12 years), first MFI in Italy specialised in small loans for the start-up and development of small enterprises as well as for primary needs of families, and member of Board of Ritmi, the Italian microfinance network.

    He holds a degree in Economics at the University of Turin and has a Master in Microfinance at the University of Bergamo. Andrea is a partner of a social cooperative, critical consumer, slow runner and founder of the Association Atomi Onlus, now MicroLab, working with young entrepreneurs.

    Before launching PerMicro in 2007, he worked for Banca Etica, Mag2 Finance, and he was a researcher for Fondazione Giordano Dell'Amore. He is owner of a little Bio & Social Shop (in the food and beverage sector) and was administrator of a farm focusing on organic & social agriculture.

    He is councillor in the Municipality of Chieri (Province of Turin), city where he lives with his wife and his four children. He has published two volumes on microcredit and the banking system: "Banche e Microfinanza" and "Otto modi di dire microcredito".

    Profile picture for user Andrea Limone
  • Svetlana Roganovic

    Treasurer

    Svetlana Roganovic, master of economics, joined Monte Credit in 2010. She has been promoted a CEO in 2017. Since 2019 she is a member of Board of Directors of MFI Koslnvest in Kosovo. She also worked as a CEO of the founder of MFI Monte Credit, Vision Fund Agroinvest. After graduating from the Faculty of Economics in Montenegro, she developed her finance skills in various companies, in which she was accountable for finance analysis, forecasting , budgeting and accounting. After a while, she completed a master thesis and obtained the diploma of master of economics.

    Her strongest skills are linked to strategy planning together with risk, finance and operational management. Svetlana's interpersonal skills are always oriented towards people she leads. Good communication, high level of integrity accompanied with exceptional skills and knowledge of her job requirements are consistently demonstrated in everyday work and she is unconditionally leading by example which is highly appreciated by her associates. She always points out that her major success is her two children and she is dedicated to the community as a part of Parent Council of High and Elementary school in Podgorica (the capital of Montenegro) where she serves to develop and improve the learning perspective and possibilities of children.

    Svetlana was elected to the EMN Board in October 2021.

    Profile picture for user Svetlana Roganovic
  • Óscar Ugarte

    Oscar Ugarte Gamboa is director of the management company Seed Capital Bizkaia since 2008, he has previous professional experience in different areas of management in the computer sector and the electricity sector.

    After obtaining his degree on Business Management at the University of the Basque Country, he made a postgraduate program on communication on the ESIC, and has also specialized in lnclussive Finance with HBAccion executive program.

    During his position as director of Seed Capital Bizkaia he has launched both, the microfinance venture capital entity, and the crowdfunding platform. His approach to the company has been distinguished by a European working frame, and a social impact finance view.

    On this path, Oscar has participated in different international organizations such as the European Venture Philantropy Association and on state level social impact platforms as the Spainsif forum. He was elected to the EMN Board in October 2018, then re-elected in October 2021

    Profile picture for user Óscar Ugarte
  • Raluca Andreica

    Raluca Andreica is the Chief Executive Officer of Patria Credit, a Member of the Board of the Romanian Microfinance Association, and the Executive Director and Board Member of Patria Foundation. She also serves as a project manager designing the very first microfinance institution for social entreprises in Romania. Raluca has gained expertise in microfinance since its inception in Romania, 23 years ago, and has been working in it ever since. By doing so, she has learned to talk less and do more. Her motto: "less words and more action".

    Over time, I has formed a strategic vision on the role of microfinance in small entrepreneurs' development, innovation, digitalisation, poverty alleviation and social business in Romania and the Balkans.

    Raluca was elected to the EMN Board in October 2021.

    Profile picture for user Raluca Andreica
  • Herjola Spahiu

    Herjola Spahiu has close to 20 years of proven experience in strategic planning, retail, operations and projects, organisational development and change management in the banking and financial sector. After in-depth banking experience, she took over the lead of NOA Albania in April 2014 as CEO and Vice Chairman of the Steering Council, focussing on the fulfilment of the social missions of the institution, building a strong senior managers' team able to collectively drive the growing business and achieve high customer service standards, ensuring the company complies with legal and regulatory framework, Code of Conduct, etc. In the spirit of advocating and promoting the role of the microfinance sector in Albania, Herjola held the position of Chairwoman of the Albanian Microfinance Association during 2014-2016.

    She graduated in Business Administration/Marketing in 2002, later attending postgraduate studies in Banking Management and Promotion of Banking Products (2006), at the University of Athens. She holds an EMBA Degree from the International Hellenic University in Thessaloniki (2010). Recently, she attended and awarded with a certificate in "Strategic Leadership in Inclusive Finance" from the Harvard Business University (2019). Herjola is a mother of three children (20, 7 and 1 years old), loves her family and is passionate about travelling and music.

    Herjola was elected to the EMN Board in October 2021

    Profile picture for user Herjola Spahiu

The team

  • Caroline Tsilikounas

    General Director

    Caroline joined EMN in September 2021.

    Responsibilities

    • Design and execution of EMN's strategy
    • Implementation of EMN’s advocacy work towards the EU and other national authorities in collaboration with the main stakeholders
    • Monitoring the execution of the EMN Operational Plan
    • Liaising with the EMN Governance bodies and its membership
    Profile picture for user Caroline Tsilikounas
  • 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

    Francesca joined the EMN team in January 2021.

    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
    Profile picture for user Francesca Preve
  • 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
    Profile picture for user Marie Vial

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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