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20 Oct

2nd European Microfinance Day: Creating Opportunities beyond Microcredit

Event European Microfinance Day
European Microfinance Day logo

Under the tagline Creating Opportunities beyond Microcredit, the second edition of the European Microfinance Day highlighted the importance of the comprehensive package of services that the microfinance sector offers to its clients. Specifically, the 2nd EMD focused on the importance of the provision of non-financial services – or accompanying activities - as a fundamental part of the support to the clients.

Non-financial services from the Microfinance sector. A fundamental tool to cope with the refugee crisis

A Brussels-based event took place on the 27th October 2016 to collect and report on the events that EMN and MFC members organised the previous week across the continent on the occasion of the EMD. The event also served to highlight some crucial topics for the development of the Microfinance sector in Europe, as the report on the findings from the EMN-MFC Overview Survey on the Microfinance sector in Europe, and the alternatives for financing the non-financial services offered by the MF sector.

The second part of the event addressed a particular case study that highlighted the importance of the non-financial services that are offered by the sector as a fundamental tool to cope with the refugee crisis.

Attendees in the event included individuals from the European Microfinance sector, EU representatives and people from other social development sectors in Europe.


  • A total of 61 participants attended the Brussels-based event on the 27th October
  • 27 EMN and MFC members from 12 European countries and 3 Non-European countries (Georgia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia) got involved in more than 30 local actions which included board games, conferences, business breakfast, PR campaign, launch of dedicated website, training session…

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Here is a summary of what took place in Europe on the occasion of the Second European Microfinance Day under the motto " Creating Opportunities beyond



The local Adie team from Strasbourg organised a special event on the 20th

October to inform the public about household budget management in

collaboration with CRESUS (association helping families in financial

difficulties). It took the form of a board game followed by a presentation of the

key rules of budget management and will end with a quiz.

In Marseille Adie organised a conference at a business school (École de Commerce

et Management de Marseille) on the topic of the event.

In Bordeaux, Adie participated in an evening debate about socially-committed finance

after the projection of the movie "Food Coop" (movie partially financed via crowfunding).

Adie promoted the EMD via its website and social media channels.


On the third week of October, AgroInvest organised a small workshop

with the organisation Women Entrepreneurs of Serbia, of which

they are member. The project was integrated with a project that has

already started, as they want to raise awareness of the idea that

Microfinance really is beyond the credit.

AgroInvest's 17 branches were equipped with EMD promo material. They also filmed

clients’ success stories and primarily promoted the way they have “risen from poverty”

with the precise and concrete advise and guidance from AgroInvest's loan officers – a

sort of before and after. Furthermore, they prepared staff testimonies on how they guide

clients, educate them etc.


The Spanish Microfinance Association (AEM - Asociación Española de

Microfinanzas) celebrated the 2nd European Microfinance Day by inviting

relevant microcredit actors in Spain to a working breakfast session. During the

event, Treball Solidari, Nantik Lum and Fundación Oportunitas talked about

their activities, focusing their attention on the non-financial services offered to

their borrowers. They also discussed the key aspects to bear in mind in order to provide

useful and effective support to the users. They talked about AEM’s state of play and how

to promote and improve the microfinance sector in Spain.

The event took place on the 20th October and was hosted by Clifford Chance LLP. The

public targeted by the local action was composed of the key actors in the Spanish

microfinance sector.


In the framework of the 2nd European Microfinance Day, Banca

Popolare Etica is organising a conference entitled "Microfinance a

tool for empowering people”. The event will bring together international, EU and national

representatives from public authorities, financial sectors, social investors, NGOs and civil

society to explore and discuss the role of microfinance in empowering people. Initiatives

and best practices developed over the years in the world will be presented during the


The conference will take place on 19 October 2016 in Rome. More information on the

event and registration.


BMVK organised two separate events on microfinance in Pécs

and Békéscsaba, and promoted both events and the general

EMD via their website, Facebook pages and through a press


Pécs, 25th October: The first event was entitled You shouldn’t fear the digital

world and participants were not only up to date with the latest digital tenders (calls) and

got the latest information on ISO requirements, but also got a glimpse at the

microfinancial opportunities of digital projects.

Békéscsaba, 28th October: This second event promoted microfinance as well as social

enterprises for the sustainable economic growth of Europe and Central Europe in

particular. The event was addressed to the Hungarian Microfinance Network and micro

and small entrepreneurs. The conference looked to impart lessons learnt from the past,

challenges in the present and new perspectives regarding Hungarian Microfinancing in

light of the European Investment Plan.


On the occasion of the 2nd European Microfinance Day, CoopEst

celebrated its 10th anniversary which was a special opportunity to

reflect on the past and inspire the future perspectives for financial and social inclusion

based on the CoopEst experience and lessons learned on the 10-year long journey. The

event took place on the 20th October.


EKI offers its clients an original value added service named “EKI

Business club”. Since it is in line with the 2nd EMD's theme, it was

shown as great example of what should be offered to clients besides

loans. On the day EKI:

- Presented EKI Business club in detail to each client who came to office and offered

them membership with special benefit;

- Posted information about the European Microfinance Day on its website and Facebook


- Sent an SMS to all clients about the European Microfinance Day;

- Posted information in the next issue of EKI's Bulletin (23,000 copies)


On the occasion of the 2nd EMD, Marcel Abbad, Managing

Director of Fundación Oportunitas IMF and President of the

Asociación Española de Microfinanzas offered a chat in which he

illustrated the role that microfinance plays in the current economic context as a tool for

development and job creation. In addition, the discussion focused on non-financial

services as a key component of microfinance programs and as essential tool for

entrepreneurs and business success.

The event took place on the 20th October. The public targeted by this local action

consisted of professionals interested in providing advisory services to microcredit

borrowers, people interested in MFIs as drivers of positive social change, as well as of

entities whose users could benefit from the services offered by Fundación Oportunitas.


good.bee Credit IFN promoted the event through a press release

and a social media campaign (Facebook, LinkedIn) mentioning the

event idea, the benefits of microfinance for each small

entrepreneur in their development and how useful non-financial

services are in their activity.


HMVTA organised two different actions taking place in Eger,


First initiative, on the 19th October, consisted in a business breakfast for local micro

and small entrepreneurs via Enterprise Europe Network in a collaboration with the Local

Enterprise Agency of Heves County and the Hungarian National TradeHouse. The main

topic was: "Microfinance and tender, EU funds, possibilities in accordance with EU 2014-

2020 period: how to find business partners through an international network". The

importance of the event was to give all necessary information to the entrepreneurs about

their possibilities and help them to make appropriate decisions for their companies.

On the 20th October, HMVTA hosted a workshop on entrepreneurship, venture

creation, and technologies.


The Second European Day coincided with the 3rd European Microfinance Forum,

organised on the 19th, 20th and 21st October by the Italian Government Agency for

Microcredit, with the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European

Investment Fund and the European Commission, provided public institutions, private

sector operators and non-profit organisations an opportunity to debate and share views

from their qualified perspectives on economic and social development and credit access.

The event pursued three main aims: (i) to contribute to developing and implementing

European public policies aimed at supporting economic micro operators, enhancing

public-private partnership; (ii) to spread national and international best practices; (iii) to

be a networking opportunity.



KEPA organised an open event in cooperation with the

Municipality of Thessaloniki. The initiative pursued three

objectives: the dissemination of the perspective of

microfinance in Greece; the clarification of the importance of

microcredit as an alternative funding tool for the public; to increase awareness.

To support the achievement of these objectives, the event was addressed to journalists,

very small entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs and policy makers & academics.


KMF organised the 10th Conference “Women and business” in Almaty in

November 2016. They shared the video sent by them for the EMD

celebration. They then addressed their action to business-women, mainly. They

promoted their local action among their network, social media, website, and local mass



Mi-Bospo's goal is to raise awareness among citizens

about this important date and the usefulness of

microcrediting for the purpose of reducing poverty and

economically empowering citizens, with major focus on

women. They focused on providing non-financial services to their active and potential

clients. Mi-Bospo marked the EMD on their website, social networks, and through direct

contacts with their clients as well.


Microfinance Ireland organised a national PR campaign,

leveraging digital and social media wherever possible to

promote the availability of business mentoring to all

approved clients of Microfinance Ireland on EMD.

This was a high profile PR campaign supported by the

Minister for Employment & Small Business, targeted at the

general population through national press and media and specifically targeted at anyone

involved in small business (of which there are 185,000 SMEs in Ireland). A series of

videos were produced in advance and published on the day along with Press Release to

all national & business Press Desks, along with e-messaging to customers &



MFO BIG created a special website for this event. This site was

created to explain the idea and promote the activities of the

microfinance industry for the individuals who are establishing

small and medium businesses, to publish interesting articles for

small and medium entrepreneurs throughout the year and to provide Pro Bono

consultations via the site. Website visitors could also submit questions of their concern

and get qualified answers from BIG experts.

The hashtag #2016EMD was used in all social media channels. A training was

announced on the Facebook cover page, and the day will be highlighted via a press

release. A paid advertisement were placed on 20 - 27 October, supported by the common

visual identity.

Training courses for BIG crediting experts and other activities have also been planned for



microStart Belgium organised three separate events in Brussels,

Ghent and Charleroi:

Opening of MicroCafé (Ghent): On 20th October, microStart

kicked off the EMD with the opening of MicroCafé in Gent, a free co-working space open

to anyone with a professional project who needs a place to work quietly or who would

like to draw up a business plan with other entrepreneurs.

Workshop on coaching entrepreneurs (Brussels): microStart

organised a workshop in partnership with Hefboom on coaching

entrepreneurs with the aim of matching their needs in order to fill

the gaps. The session reflected on the optimization of supervision

after granting credit, and how European funds can be used for this.

24th Employment and Activity Creation Fair at Charleroi Expo (Charleroi):

microStart had a booth at the expo and participated in the conference on the topic of

“Microcredit serving your business creation, why and how?”. microStart promoted

capacity building and complementary coaching and guidance together with microcredit.


Nantik Lum organised with all their microcredit groups an informal

exchange meeting focusing on their experience with our non-financial

services on 11th October. They also participated in the Asociación

Española de Microfinanzas' event on 20th October.

In order to promote their event, they sent an email to their mailing list of entrepreneurs

and social entities, made a campaign through social media, called local public

representatives and informed the press.


OBS promoted the the 2nd EMD via the placement of an

advertisement in the major daily newspaper in Serbia. The advert

described the importance of microcredit, as well as the importance of

providing non-financial services (NFS) for the vulnerable population. It also included

information about the intention of OBS to introduce NFS for its clients as of 2017. The

same content was sent as a press release to the major media and news agencies in

Serbia. OBS placed posters inside and outside of OBS branches and credit offices, and

made use of the communication kit via its website.


Partner organised the "Day of Microfinance". The main goal was to promote

their activities in BiH as supporting micro entrepreneurs and the participation

of women in business. Partner also promoted easier access to finance

services in rural areas along with technical support.

Partner MCF prepared promotional material with all the necessary information

about their business activities, products and services.


Patria Bank and Patria Credit organised three simultaneous events

in three rural communities (Vidra, Baleni and Fierbinti) with social

media training LIVE streaming on the Patria Bank website.

As a special intervention on the event, a social media training was delivered LIVE from

Bucharest, through online live streaming, showcasing the importance and capabilities of

the internet, social media and technology these days. Gaining knowledge on how

important social media is today and how Facebook can boost their business was the

added value brought to the audience.


On 20th October 2016 in Torino, Headquarters of PerMicro, there

was an evening event in the historical palace “Palazzo della Luce”.

The palace hosted a special conference and party. The core of the

event was the presentation of the results of a research by the

Politecnico di Milano on PerMicro’s social impact. The research team members, national

and international partners, and customers were invited as speakers and guests. On the

same occasion PerMicro, in collaboration with CEB, will announced a photo contest which

was launched in January 2017 on the topic of “Microentrepreneurs”.


Qredits' marketing plan for the 2016 EMD consisted of a two-week marketing

campaign starting on 24th October, combining radio, billboards and e-learning

discounts. On 20 October, Qredits launched the e-learning discount campaign

and promoted this on social media in honour of the 2nd EMD. The goal was

to let their public know that microfinance is more than simply microcredit.


RITMI (Italian Microfinance Network) will organised an event in

the beautiful location of the Housing Giulia (social co-housing)

in Torino to talk about the Italian experiences of going beyond

microcredit. Public target included: institutions, partners,

customers and prospective customers (especially oriented to Business Microcredit).

Promotion of the event was carried out through website, mailings and social media.


XacBank organised a training session prepared by their loan specialist. The

training took place at nine branches including Ulaanbaatar and various rural


The training focused on providing information about all the processes of microcredit, such

as how to calculate your income and loan for safe borrowing, interest rates, contracts

and more. Through the training they reached the targeted group and helped people

understand their rights and the opportunity provided by the Bank. XacBank published the

short version of the training content through their official website, social media channels

and the five most popular news websites.

Browse & learn more about

European Microfinance Day

The European Microfinance Day initiative was launched in 2015 as a tool to highlight the impact of the microfinance sector in Europe from a social and an economic perspective.
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