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24 Jul

Sustainable integration practices for Third Country Nationals (TCNs)

Event Webinar

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Presentation slides   Webinar recording

The EMN Team is thrilled to invite you to our first SIFTA Webinar - "Sustainable integration practices for Third Country Nationals (TCNs)".

The webinar aims to share good practices related to financial and non-financial services through multi-stakeholder approaches and conducive ecosystems

Facilitator: Jörg Schoolmann, EMN, Dr. Yiorgos Alexouplos, Agricultural University of Athens, Eleni Bletsa, Cooperative Bank for Karditsa, A.N.K.A.

The webinar will take place on the 24th of July, at 15:00 CET.


Yiorgos Alexopoulos

Senior Researcher at the Department of Rural Development, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece

speaker 1​Presently, he plays a pivotal role in coordinating the efforts of the YES! project, which receives funding from the EEA and Norway Grants. This project places particular emphasis on sustainable work integration practices for vulnerable youth, aiming to provide them with better opportunities. Additionally, the project is dedicated to designing interventions that yield positive social impact. Through these endeavors, he strives to create meaningful change in the lives of migrants and vulnerable populations by fostering economic empowerment and social inclusion.

He specializes in promoting social finance solutions and supporting micro and social economy enterprises, with a particular focus on migrants and vulnerable groups. He's an expert in social finance and social economy enterprise development, having worked with prestigious organizations such as the OECD and the EC. He is also an active member of the Commission Expert Group on Social Economy and Social Entrepreneurship (GECES) and the Academic Advisory Group of the European Association of Co-operative Banks.

Eleni Bletsa

Lawyer-Mediator, Associate of the Cooperative Bank of Karditsa (CBK) and the Development Agency of Karditsa (AN.KA. S.A)

speaker 2Eleni is currently the Project Manager of YES!, a project funded by the EEA and Norway Grants (2018-23), focusing on providing training, employment support, business coaching, and mentoring to young NEETs aged 18-29 years old. The project aims to facilitate their entry into the labor market and promote young entrepreneurship. Notably, special attention is given to NEETs from underserved communities, including ROMA, homeless individuals, those in rehabilitation, refugees, and migrants. In the past, she also served as the Project Manager for the Share Sira project (2021-22), which focused on promoting social inclusion and integration of refugees and migrants in rural areas. Additionally, she is actively involved in the Erasmus+ SE4Ces Project (2021-23), leading the design of a two-year masters' degree program on Social Economy, with a particular emphasis on the Skills Module.

Moreover, Eleni acts as a facilitator for projects that aim to enhance the social impact of CBK (Cooperative Bank of Karditsa), with a strong focus on improving access to microfinancing for vulnerable groups and promoting their positive transformation through the Banks' products and services.

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One of the many functions of the European Microfinance Network (EMN) is to organise debates and webinars addressing a wide range of subjects pertinent to microfinance in Europe. These activities are a chance to foster an exchange of ideas among different partners, and contribute to spreading knowledge of microfinance throughout Europe.
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