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6 Jun

16th EMN Annual Conference: Connecting for the future

Event Annual conference
EMN Annual Conference 2019 banner

Our 16th annual conference is now over, many thanks to all our participants! You can use these links to explore all the outputs of this inspiring edition :

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The European Microfinance Network (EMN) held its 16th Annual Conference in Vienna, Austria on 6th June 2019. The event was a reimagined meeting of minds and ideas and a perfect opportunity for participants to network, get inspired and to connect with their peers.

About 300 delegates attended, including microfinance practitioners from all over Europe, service providers, academics and researchers interested in the recent developments of the sector, as well as representatives from the other interested parties including policy makers, NGOs and guarantee-granting institutions.

One simple idea: Connecting for the Future!

This year, the EMN Annual Conference focused on the most important aspects highlighted by our members from our previous 15 annual events: Networking, Inspiration & Development. More than ever before, the aim of the conference was to encourage moments for participants to connect in order to prepare for the future. Potential lies in all of us, and it is our job to untap this potential. 

Financial technology and artificial intelligence are developing and becoming more affordable at high speed and we need to be ready for it to avoid any disruption to our current business models and processes. In view of the loss of traction to mobilise funders that microfinance is experiencing – as well as the rise of social entrepreneurship, crowdfunding platforms, and alternative inclusive and sustainable finance players – the sector is looking to start the new renaissance.


Thinking outside of the box

Connecting for the future was the tagline of the conference and this year, the setup of the event has changed to more effectively embrace the challenges and objectives we have set ourselves. In a one-day conference, we accentuated Inspiration: thinking outside of the box, enlarging horizons and remembering one’s aspirations. The Networking moments allowed us to connect with our peers, our EU policy makers and our (future) investors. There was also space to grow and to develop personal skills to boost our ability to inspire staff and to change our direct environment for the future.

With this in mind, some of the specific activities planned for the day included:

  • Inspirational, motivational and visionary messages from international keynote speakers;
  • Break-out sessions on soft skills for personal & professional development;
  • Cooperation meetings focused on real collaborative possibilities;
  • Speed networking to boost collaboration with EU Policy Makers and Social Impact Investors.
  • World Café to identify strategies and opportunities for the future of the industry and of EMN.

The conference was wrapped up by our social event.

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Annual Conference

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.
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