Rural areas are estimated to generate 48% of the EU’s gross value added and provide 56% of the EU Member States' total employment. A typical characteristic of the rural economy is the presence of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), many of which are micro-businesses with a high proportion of self-employment. Nonetheless, due to a variety of challenges in Europe only 24% of MFIs serve rural populations (EMN Overview Survey of the Microfinance Sector 2012-2013).
Within the framework of an EU project on microfinance and rural entrepreneurship, EMN carried out the publication European Good Practices in rural microfinance (2015). The publication presents a compilation of 15 ‘good practices’ in the provision of rural microfinance across both Western and Eastern Europe and identifies some lessons learned that can be valuable for MFIs operating in rural areas. EMN invited Opportunity Bank Serbia (OBS), one of the MFIs included in the publication, to share its experience on the use of tablet technology as a tool for improving service to small rural farmers.
To present the OBS good practice, highlighting how the adoption of tablet technology could help MFIs overcome some of the rural challenges, thus enhancing the financial inclusion of rural clients. Particular interest will be given to the potential adoption of this innovation by other MFIs in Europe.
Good Practices in rural microfinance (EMN presentation) download below video
OBS tablet technology as tool for improving service to small rural farmers (OBS presentation) download below video
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