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Workshop Sessions

Workshop 1 | Youth entrepreneurs – microfinance for Europe’s new entrepreneurial generation? 

16th June - Promenada

The face of entrepreneurship is changing around the world. It is mostly getting younger. Long-term professional experience is no longer the key resource for aspiring entrepreneurs as markets and business models are transforming rapidly in favour of innovation. The workshop will provide participants with a closer look at the implications of making youth entrepreneurs a dedicated target group for microfinance in Europe. It aims to spark lively discussion about the potential and limitations of providing microfinance services to clients under 30.

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Workshop 2  | A European platform for Microfinance to reach out to refugees?

16th June - Róża+Irys

Speakers will share their valuable experience in providing services to refugees. Participants will be able to discuss various tools that could be implemented in order to enhance the capabilities of the sector in serving “mobile” clients. Through the sharing of good practices, attendees will be prompted to question the processes they have in place, in order to strive for improvement for the benefit of their customers. Participants will also have the chance to discuss which services are needed to help refugees in Europe and how these services could be financed by donors, multilateral and also local organisations. The aim is also to establish the main priorities for the development of a microfinance platform at a European level.

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Workshop 3  | Approach to risk mitigation: are you sure poor people can pay back loans?

16th June - Lilia

A variety of tools developed either by a European Institution or directly by MFIs in order to cope with risky clients will be presented to the participants. Through these presentations, participants will have an overview of an innovative lending methodology - which requires no collateral -, of the implementation of a cutting-edge credit scoring system and will be able to explore how the provision of guarantees from an external institution could support MFIs in reaching out to vulnerable groups. The aim is to stimulate discussion amongst participants on how to be innovative in approaching customers without collateral and credit history, allowing MFIs to reach target groups that are considered 'risky'.

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Workshop 4  | Microinsurance: A way to strengthen your customer relations & the diversity of your services

16th June - Lilia

MFI managers will be able to better identify areas of risk and the insurance needs of their clients. They will gain a clear understanding of the characteristics that microinsurance programmes must have in order to be valuable and to provide clear benefits for all stakeholders: clients, MFIs, and insurers. The participants will be able to better understand microinsurance in terms of target clients, product design processes, marketing, and partnership with insurance companies. The group assignment and discussion will encourage microfinance institutions to think outside the box when considering offering micro insurance services.

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Workshop 5  | How to run BDS as a business case?

16th June - Promenada

This workshop will try to answer the following questions: Are non-financial services (BDS) key to the success of your clients' businesses? How far should the microfinance sector go in the provision of BDS? Which are the most important services and business models for the provision of BDS that have the strongest impact on society? What are the different mechanisms for financing these BDS: EU institutions, national/local authorities, private sector (CSR), commercialisation, etc.?

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Workshop 6  | Personal loans: the forgotten half of microcredit?

16th June - Róża+Irys

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from three practitioners who offer different personal microcredit products. Although there are differences in the institutional business models, in the conditions that apply and in the delivery of the products, all three MFIs provide personal microloans with the aim of broadening financial inclusion for the vulnerable and unbanked sections of the population. The presentations will offer participants an overview of the specific groups that are targeted, of the main uses of personal loans and of the features of the products, including the financial and non-financial services that complement the loan provision. The aim of the workshop is to stimulate discussion on the main features of personal loans currently offered within the sector and whether, and why, MFIs should start offering this additional product.

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Workshop 7  | Progress Review on the EU Code for Microcredit Provision

17th June - Róża+Irys

Given that the EaSI TA project has been up and running for a year, it is worth having a status update and a discussion on the implementation of the "European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision" or "Code". This session seeks to share experience of European stakeholders who are currently involved in the implementation of the Code during its first year of practice and to provide an outlook for the upcoming year. This practical session will shine the spotlight on the Code and will provide useful information to the audience of microfinance institutions on the application process and on the accreditation criteria.

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Workshop 8  | How can MFIs prove their impact on society?

17th June - Promenada

The objective of the workshop will be to discuss the level of interest among MFIs in collaborating with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. The aim is to quantify the impact of their microcredits on final beneficiaries, through a Counterfactual Impact Evaluation (CIE). The workshop will be an opportunity to address causal questions that are relevant for the MFIs, such as whether - and to what extent - microcredit has helped people come out of unemployment and/or boost their businesses; whether - and to what extent - microcredit has had a different impact on diverse groups of beneficiaries; and so forth. Learning to what degree microcredit has been effective can provide evidence as to what further policy support might be required, and also as to any strategic changes that need to be carried out in the MFI in order to enhance its impact.

 

Workshop 9  | Would the perfect loan officer be a robot?

17th June - Lilia

The session will serve as an eye-opener and as food for thought. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from the discussion between practitioners who have adopted innovative technologies and methodologies aimed at reducing the time taken to process loan applications and increasing outreach to the underserved. Participants will also have the chance to discuss the risks and potential benefits of the latest digital opportunities for the microfinance sector. The aim of this workshop is to enhance discussions on the pros and cons of the traditional MFI credit assessment approach (and whether it is still viable) and on what needs to change before it is too late.

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