"Building sustainable Microfinance in Europe"

The European Microfinance Network (EMN) is holding its 9th Annual Conference in Bucharest on the 8-of November 2012.
The EMN Conference will focus on how to build a sustainable Microfinance Industry in Europe and will serve as a platform for debate, learning and exchange experiences between practitioners.

Understanding sustainability for Microfinance in Europe

A number of European Microfinance providers have been successful in building institutions that reach out to large numbers of clients while attaining operational sustainability in a relatively short period of time.

What have been the drivers for such success?

The EMN Conference will focus on analyzing the lessons that Microfinance providers can learn from sustainable organizations, in particular, focusing on how such MFIs have grown as organizations and reach large numbers of clients. Participants will also explore if these lessons can be applied in their own context.

Learning from success

Many microfinance providers in Central and Eastern Europe established in the early 90’s,have reached operational and financial sustainability through efficiency and innovation. They have been providing financial services mostly to underserved entrepreneurs from rural and peri-urban areas rather than start-ups and poor and therefore are considered more commercially oriented than their Western European peers.

Western European MFIs combining effectively credit with nonfinancial services are reaching out to new start-ups and people who are not (anymore) served by the formal banking sector, many of whom belong to vulnerable groups with high-risk profiles, their innovative character and bold attitude in breaking away with traditional financing practices have been pillars of their success.

The Conference will focus on analyzing the lessons that Microfinance providers can learn from different success stories from both Central and Eastern and Western Europe, focusing on:

Which lessons are important if you want to grow your Microfinance operations?

Are those lessons relevant for Microfinance practitioners in Western and Northern Europe?

Eastern Europe (Romania, Bulgaria and the Balkans) Microfinance and Credit Unions under the spotlight

Microfinance in Eastern Europe has known an impressive development in the last decade in terms of the volume of microloans distributed, the large number of clients served and the amount of Microfinance providers established in Romania.

The Romanian case is particularly interesting since the rapid development of Microfinance has been the consequence of important changes in the environment in which Romanian MFIs operate.

The EMN Conference will explore the reasons for the development of the Microfinance sector in Romania, focusing on:

This Conference will also be a unique opportunity to discover the Romanian Credit Union movement. Romanian Credit Unions have been providing successfully financial services at the local level in Romania for a hundred years.

A platform for exchange, co-operation and development

The EMN conference wants to be a forum for debate, exchange of ideas and experiences. Over 350 participants are expected to attend, including EMN member organizations, Microfinance practitioners, Investors, Banks, European policy makers and other stakeholders.

If you want to learn from successful microfinance practitioners, meet potential investors, exchange with policy makers, meet organizations with whom to partner, showcase your Microfinance organization and be up to date with the latest developments and opportunities in the Microfinance Sector in Europe, come and join us in Bucharest and make your contribution towards building a sustainable Microfinance in Europe.