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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 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 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
  • Guillem Aris Coderch

    Vice-President

    Guillem Aris Coderch is founder and CEO of Autoocupacio & Youth Business Spain. He has spent more than 20 years promoting entrepreneurship and providing financial and non-financial services to 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 PerMicro in Italy. 

    Corrado has a Master’s in Economics from Rome LUISS. He has previously worked as a consultant, board member and tourism auditor as well as in banking services. In 1984, Corrado 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 is cofounder and CEO of microStart (Belgium). He began his career in 1993 at Adie as microcredit advisor. In 1995 he left Adie, remaining as 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 in Ile-de-France. In 2008, he developed a programme aimed at social entrepreneurs.

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

    Patrick joined the EMN aisbl Board in June 2013 as VP and was elected as President in June 2014 and again 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 board member of NACHALA (Bulgaria) 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 programme.

    In recognition of his professionalism and achievements, he has received various honours, including the Meritorious Honour 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 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 fund EMN or 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 Bruno Cassola at b.cassola@european-microfinance.org

The European Commission is our main partner and supports 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 through 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 was supported in its actions by the below partners. Thank you to all our partners for your generous support for our 2017  initiatives. We hope to count on this support again in 2018 and beyond!

Project Partners

EaSI Technical Assistance to the microcredit sector

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 aims to improve 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