Ondřej Kovařík has been a Member of the European Parliament (Renew Europe) since 2019 and is member of the ECON Committee at the EP. He was a shadow rapporteur on the InvestEU proposal, the EU investment programme successor to the well-known EaSI programme, which will be particularly relevant for social economy actors.
Before becoming an MEP, Ondřej Kovařík held several high-profile positions within the Czech and European civil services, such as the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Ottawa; and the Czech Ministry of Defence.
Sally Ghannoum is a Syrian singer, film-maker, and entrepreneur. Due to the war in Syria, she fled to Belgium with her family in 2015. She is now the owner of two successful restaurants and a cultural centre in Antwerp, and believes success comes from talent, love, art, and hard work. Sally lost her home but she carried her culture and the love of Syria in her heart when she decided to build a new home in Antwerp. Her new home is called Dilbi - Dilbi is the secret of her success and hope in life. Join Sally on her journey.
EaSI TA InvestEU, ESF : an update on the EaSI Programme successor
With the new MFF in light, we want to keep EMN members abreast of the EU's financing activities in support of the microfinance sector. After the current crises, the sectors work has become more relevant and the support to the sector has gained further attention. We will hear first-hand from the European Commission who will share the current status of EU support tools, specially the very successful Easi Guarantee and future plans under InvestEU and ESF+.
Preparing for the future while still managing the crisis
EaSI TA During the session participants will learn and interact on how MFIs with different business models and operating in very different contexts reacted to the COVID-19 crisis. What are/have been the main challenges and the impact on the MFIs? Which different actions were taken to support customers?
Participants will be also invited to reflect on the challenges that lay ahead of the sector and will debate on the identification of possible innovative solutions to support micro-entrepreneurs in the post-COVID recovery. What are the key lessons we can take for the future? What will be the “new normal” for MFIs?
Manager, Communication & Fundraising at AgroInvest
DigitalSolutions Marketplace: Meet your digital provider
With digitalisation becoming one of the hottest topics of these times, EMN will launch its new DigitalSolutions Marketplace in Brussels. The microfinance sector is very active and has been instrumental in keeping entrepreneurs afloat throughout Europe during these tough times, but it still needs all hands on deck to achieve ”an inclusive finance for an inclusive future”. The DigitalSolutions Marketplace will be the perfect opportunity for participants to meet with various Digital Providers to discover what is on offer and even to establish partnerships.
EaSI TA Microfinance as a pioneer in Impact Investment: achievements & new challenges
With the great resilience of its practitioners, their high impact, and their ability to deliver over time, microfinance has long been seen as the original impact investment. But where do we stand now? Is there a shift away or back towards Financial Inclusion in impact investing? Come join us for a discussion where we will touch upon impact in the EU towards the EC and the investors.
Digital delivery of non-financial services: What offers for which category of client?
Although the digitalisation of entrepreneurship and business development services delivery was long engaged, the COVID-19 crisis accelerated the trend as it demonstrated its relevance to answer the needs of (aspiring) entrepreneurs. Online live awareness-raising, bespoke informative mailing, training and coaching sessions, digital automated solutions to build business plans, web-based library… the possibilities offered by technology are huge and should allow services providers to meet the diverse expectation of their target population. Is digital, the solution to serve all categories of prospects and clients? Is it adapted to all sort of support?
The workshop will provide some examples of the best practices of the sector and try to provide answer the above-mentioned questions.
Speed Networking: Meet your policy maker and investor
Given the popularity of this activity in our previous Annual Conferences, EMN will be hosting a third edition of its Speed Networking this year as well. It will take place over one hour and half, so participants will get to book time slots to meet with some investors and policy makers. Established connections can then be further developed over the coffee break and farewell drinks! This activity is dedicated to establishing contacts between MFIs and their potential Social Investors and/or EU Policy Makers. It offers a platform for exchange and awareness-raising and could foster the creation of partnerships or consolidate existing cooperation between partners.
It is a tailored networking opportunity, using the principle of ‘speed dating’. MFIs can book a time slot to meet with selected people, in order to address their needs and questions with the relevant person. Stay tuned for the launch of the appointment book and names of participating social investors and policy makers!
Head of CSR Engagement & Inclusion at BNP Paribas Fortis
Head of Social Business and Microfinance at BNP Paribas
Manager at Inpulse
Team leader for EU financial instruments for social enterprise finance and microfinance
7th European Microfinance Day - Keeping the doors open for all entrepreneurs
The European Microfinance Day, sponsored by the EIB Group, is back for a 7th edition, with more meaning behind the new symbolic date of 15th October.
This date was chosen based on a striking statistic: according to the OECD, 21.7% of the EU population is at risk of poverty or social exclusion. In other words, the system isn't working for 21.7% of the time. Relative to a calendar year, this means that it breaks down on 15th October, when the doors close on those willing to build a better life for themselves. The microfinance sector is pushing hard to move this limit further year after year, to see the day no one is left behind.
Our usual Brussels-central event is fully integrated into the conference as the closing session and we will be hosting the European Code of Good Conduct Award Ceremony, with the participation of the European Commission's DG Employment, to proudly award those organisations that are recently certified under the ECoGC.
Conference closing keynote speech Ruth Paserman - Director DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion - Funds: Programming and implementation - European Commission
15:55 - 16:40
7th European Microfinance Day Introduction to the EMD - Caroline Tsilikounas, EMN General Manager EMD sponsor - Bruno Robino, Deputy Head of Division Advisory Services, European Investment Bank European Code of Good Conduct Award Ceremony - Ann Branch, European Commission, DG EMPL