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Committees

This year, EMN proposes a series of “committees” in the place of workshops. These committees will allow for interactive and participatory discussion of microfinance-related issues among participants and experts. There will be two series of 6 parallel committee sessions on Thursday 22nd June.

committees

More concretely, the Committees are breakout sessions where a smaller group of conference delegates will discuss specific subjects or aspects of the broader theme of the conference. Committees will be facilitated by leaders or experts on the given subject in a very dynamic way in order to favour discussion and lively exchange.

Discover our committees below and the keywords that will define the topics under discussion!


COMMITTEES

 

Committee 1 | The mentoring challenge

22nd June - Facilitator: CPAC

The main objective of this committee is to demonstrate the great potential of a volunteering mentoring programme to enhance an MFI’s offer of non-financial services to better support entrepreneurs to start and grow their own businesses and to fulfil their potential. It will be based on the experience of a global network of more than 14,000 mentors in 50 countries.

This committee is addressed to everyone interested in knowing more about the mentoring approach to help entrepreneurs succeed, in implementing a mentoring programme in an MFI or in enhancing design and delivery of an existing mentoring programme and/or in improving their own mentoring skills.

From valuable mentoring experiences in different contexts, attendees will have the opportunity to understand how mentors help entrepreneurs face their challenges, helping them to find their own answers and to learn how to implement, scale and improve a mentoring programme, convincing senior entrepreneurs to become volunteer mentors and creating successful mentoring relationships.

Keywords for this committee: #mentoring #YBEurope

 

Committee 2 | Financial education through empowerment at grassroots level

22nd June - Facilitators: The Hague University, ACAF Italy and ACAF Spain

Assuming that very often poverty is more attributable to a poor relationship with money than a lack of resources, there is a clear urgency to implement new financial education oriented programmes. In contrast to many microfinance providers, Self-Funded Communities – called CAF-groups - are able to serve the vulnerable at grass-roots level, empower them with new insights in how to handle their financial affairs and provide them with access to their savings and loans. What’s it basically about? A group of people who, on the basis of trust, save together in order to create a fund that would help them to have access to small credits. These loans could be used to pay any consumption needs or even start a small business. Since the creation of the ACAF foundation in Barcelona in 2004, this self-funding and self-management-based model has been scaled up in another 7 EU countries.

Keywords for this committee: #Empowerment #Grassroots

 

Committee 3 | Financial Education without borders: take part!

22nd June - Facilitator: ILO, Microfinanza and MFC

The objective of the workshop is to explore adult learning methodologies and participatory methodologies by experiencing them first-hand and sitting in on a real financial education session - as it would happen with any microfinance client. During this committee session, we will hear about providing financial education to migrants and refugees through 2 field experiences: one in a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon, and one in France implemented by a network of migrant associations from Sub-Saharan Africa. The experiences will touch upon the different working methodologies, challenges and solutions adopted in serving these 2 target groups and how microfinance practitioners in Europe can benefit from their experience if they want to reach these populations.

Keywords for this committee: #International Practices #Financial Education

 

Committee 4 | EU vs National advocacy: how to educate our policy makers about microfinance

22nd June - Facilitators: ADIE and Inpulse

EMN has developed a strong advocacy agenda at EU level and many members may have developed similar action at their own national level. It is now important to leverage that advocacy agenda and ensure synergies in order to educate all policy and decision makers about microfinance. This includes:

  1. The definition of what microfinance is and its importance to help solve inclusion and job creation issues.

  2. The regulatory framework for microcredit provision.

  3. The regulatory framework for micro enterprise creation and self-employment.

  4. The funding necessary to support the sector.

EMN can develop the general advocacy agenda and template while national MFIs and national networks need to deploy the advocacy messages as a form of financial education at national or even regional level since many aspects are of national competence and regional authorities are in charge of managing the European Social Fund. It is important to ensure that all our actions reinforce each other’s and to take advantage of best practices.

Keywords for this committee: #advocacy #microfinance definition #microfinance legislation

 

Committee 5 | How investors can support financial inclusion and women empowerment

22nd June - Facilitator: Etica SGR and Fondazione Pangea Onlus

Asset managers and financial institution can help create a bridge between investors and people looking for microcredits in Italy. They also can play a role in educating borrowers from a financial standpoint, building a capacity that can help them better manage their micro-enterprises but also understand the struggles that modern finance poses. Etica Sgr and Banca Etica are active in the field of microcredit and crowdfunding, and through partnerships with grass-roots organisations (such as Fondazione Pangea) they have set up a model that is able to improve repayment rates, education, and efficiency of operations. In particular, Pangea, working directly with women, helps to empower women through financial means. Moreover, the role of financial institutions should be to promote financial education as such, and develop initiatives to improve the financial culture amongst people, not necessarily as a prerequisite for a loan.

Keywords for this committee: #financial inclusion #SRI meets microcredit #WomenEmpowerment

 

Committee 6 | Venice Declaration - Our commitment to empower citizens in Europe

22nd June - Facilitator: Permicro and The Hague University

During this committee session, the draft of the “Venice Declaration” will be presented and discussed with the participants. The Venice Declaration is the result of a participatory process that was extended to EMN Members for public consultation and is now extended to conference delegates. The key points of the Venice Declaration are the following:

  • Microfinance creates opportunities for inclusion

  • Inclusive finance meets the needs of individuals and communities

  • Financial inclusion prevents exclusion

  • Financial learning comes first

  • Finance for real economy

The facilitators for the two committee sessions have been involved in the whole process. During the session, participants can give further suggestions to be integrated into the Declaration and share their ideas and questions to stimulate the upcoming debate with European, national and international institutions and policy makers (Plenary 2).

Keywords for this committee: #excellence #microfinance #Europe

 

Committee 7 | Financial instruments to boost microfinance: what opportunities of cooperation with EU institutions?

22nd June - Facilitators: Banca Etica, Erste Group Bank, CoopEst, DG Employment and EIB

A new agreement, establishing a 2m EUR fund to support MFIs that are EMN members and that was signed by EMN, Banca Etica and CoopEst, will be presented by the signatories. Erste Group will present its experiences in Austria and CEE countries to support communities and MFIs and, based on those particular experiences, a discussion will be held between representatives from the European Commission and the EIB. The audience will be invited to get involved with a common goal in mind: to identify new funding instruments to support the Microfinance sector and to boost financial and social inclusion.

Keywords for this committee: #funding #equity #fundraising

 

Committee 8 | Is financial education our responsibility?

22nd June - Facilitators: Eurom, UTCAR, LEA Heves and Laboral Kutxa

Is financial education our responsibility? If so, are we prepared to empower our clients? Using their experience in Romania, Hungary and Spain as a starting point, facilitators with different organisational backgrounds (Credit Unions, Cooperative and Local Enterprise Agency) will engage with the participants to help them find answers to the challenges of becoming a “learning” organisation. The objective of the session is to raise awareness of the challenges, as well as the importance of financial/ business education as an integrated component of a microfinance organisation’s core business. Participants will work on the design of financial education action plans that will be aimed at three different target groups: children and young people; start-up entrepreneurs/farmers; adults at risk of over-indebtedness.

Keywords for this committee: #Financial education #Business development

 

Committee 9 | Social Performance Management through European lenses

22nd June - Facilitator: MFC, EMN and EIF

The objective of this committee is to present the recent developments in the setting of SPM standards and to discuss the role of the networks and microfinance institutions in the standard setting process for integrated social performance management in Europe. During the session, participants will have an opportunity to discuss SPM standards in detail, specifically standards selected by EIF for its due diligence process. They will also have an opportunity to exchange experiences and good practices, to clarify any unclear standards and to understand the EIF approach. Special focus will be given to client protection standards and good practice. The committee will also assess practices against the SPM standards –a useful exercise which will equip people with the skills and knowledge needed to prepare for any type of assessment. This committee is dedicated primarily for microfinance practitioners (managers).

Keywords for this committee: #social performance management

 

Committee 10 | Financial Education as a vehicle to add value to migrants and refugees’ economic and social capital

22nd June - Facilitators: KEPA/microSTARS and Microfinanza

The aim of this committee is to raising awareness of how financial education could be an effective vehicle to add value to the social and financial capital of refugees/migrants. Participants will have the opportunity to examine the main lessons learnt and the recommendations made during the operational experiences of practitioners that are operating in the microfinance and inclusive finance fields and that are working with the trainers of customers that have different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. Participants will be able to actively participate in the elaboration of a harmonised transnational financial education programme that will consider the high mobility of refugee populations.

Keywords for this committee: #Financial Education #Refugees #Financial Inclusion

 

Committee 11 | Designing for Financial Health: Behavioural Economics and Best Practices

22nd June - Facilitators: Common Cents Lab (MetLife Foundation) and MFC

This session will begin with a hands-on experience of MFC’s publicly available Financial Health Check Up. After setting the stage for financial health, the committee will examine what the underlying psychologies are that make good financial behaviour so difficult. This engaging session will cover the basics of behavioural economics and how it sheds insights on both the good and bad ways that people naturally think about money. From there, concrete examples of how practitioners have incorporated these insights to design for better outcomes for their clients will be provided. In small groups, participants will then share their own strategies for overcoming barriers. The committee will end with a summary of evidence-based best practices, delivered as a financial education audit to assess the strength of a financial education course.

Keywords for this committee: #CommonCentsLab #BehavioralEconomics #FinHealthCheckUp

 

Committee 12 | Venice Declaration - Our commitment to empower citizens in Europe

22nd June - Facilitator: AgroInvest and Banca Etica

During this committee session, the draft of the “Venice Declaration” will be presented and discussed with the participants. The Venice Declaration is the result of a participatory process that was extended to EMN Members for public consultation and is now extended to conference delegates. The key points of the Venice Declaration are the following:

  • Microfinance creates opportunities for inclusion

  • Inclusive finance meets the needs of individuals and communities

  • Financial inclusion prevents exclusion

  • Financial learning comes first

  • Finance for real economy

The facilitators for the two committee sessions have been involved in the whole process. During the session, participants can give further suggestions to be integrated into the Declaration and share their ideas and questions to stimulate the upcoming debate with European, national and international institutions and policy makers (Plenary 2).

Keywords for this committee: #excellence #microfinance #Europe

 

Interested in any of the above topics? Register for the conference and join the discussion!

 

Additional information