My 8 favorite trends in the microfinance sector. 2013 Microfinance Week.

Last week I participated in the 2013 European Microfinance Week, one of the main conferences on financial inclusion. It brings microfinance stakeholders together to discuss important developments in the sector and contributes to shaping the global approach to microfinance.

This time it gathered 378 participants form 59 countries and focused on the future of the sector and how to foster inclusive growth. In this post I summarise the issues and some of the cases I especially liked regarding three main trends I see in microfinance: innovation in the delivery of services, new ways to improve the outreach to vulnerable beneficiaries and the enhancement of responsible finance;

I. Concerning innovations within the sector I am especially interested in:

  •   Innovative initiatives that link financial and energy inclusion like Micro Energy International an organisation that works with microfinance institutions, energy product & service providers, international development actors and research institutions in order to set up clean energy microfinance schemes or the Hivos Green Entrepreneurship Programme and the Green Performance Agenda Toolkit you can downl oad in its page.
  • Also, I found especially stimulating a panel that discussed alternative models to fund microentreprises like P2P lending and microequity, with examples like Babyloan or Financités in France . This is an area I want to follow as I think there is has a great potential in it.

II. Regarding the question of extending the outreach and including underserved and more vulnerable groups and sectors, this year there where many cases and discussions around:

  •   Youth and employment and financial inclusion and literacy for young people ( and Women (with cases and experiences from Women World Banking and GIZ (German Official Cooperation) in Uganda and
  • How to further cover specific and more vulnerable sectors like agricultural microfinance for small farmers, or microfinance for housing

III. There were also a number of panels about the future of the sector and how to improve governance, guarantee responsible microfinance and how to improve the due diligence process.

The Week is organised by the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), a network of approximately 120 microfinance organizations and individuals. Its objective is to promote cooperation among European microfinance stakeholders working in developing countries by facilitating communication and information exchange. E-MFP member organizations include banks, financial institutions, government agencies, NGOs, consulting firms, researchers and universities.

The platform has published all the presentations in its website and I highly recommend those interested in microfinance to have a look.



  1. adolfo melendez alonso on 20 de November de 2013 at 12:45

    mil gracias por el aporte. lo de las microfinanzas y la inclusión energética hay que seguirlo de cerca. Saludos, adolfo