European Microfinance Conference 2016

Posted by: Deborah Mooney on June 23 2016 | Tagged: General news

Following our win of the Giordano Dell'Amore Microfinance Good Practices Europe Award at the European Microfinance Network (EMN) Annual Conference 2015, Scotcash were invited back to this year’s event. The Conference was held in Warsaw on the 16th and 17th of June 2016 and delegates from the Scotcash team were joined by other EMN members from over 22 countries. The conference provided an opportunity to discuss and share ideas on financial exclusion and how we can best reflect the needs of those who are regularly ignored by traditional financial services.  

Microstart Microstart Be

Photo by microStart, @microStart_Be

During the conference, Scotcash were asked to participate in the judging panel for this year’s Giordano Dell'Amore Microfinance Good Practices Europe Award, as well as present on the impact that winning the award has had on us. The worthy winners of the award this year were Horizonti, a Microfinance Institution from Macedonia who have granted over 30,000 loans to support small businesses and housing needs.

Workshops at the EMN Conference included topics such as approach to risk mitigation, personal loans and how Microfinance Institutions can prove their impact on society. Our team found these to be very useful and they sparked some interesting debate. It was great to hear things from the perspective of so many different organisations around Europe – the conference enabled us not only to hear about other projects but also highlighted how the Scotcash model can be replicated by others. 

Sari Nyholm SarinyholmPhoto by Sari Nyholm, @sarinyholm

 The keynote closing speech of the conference was given by Piotr Korynski, Development Finance & Economic Development Specialist at the Microfinance Centre, who summed up by saying that microfinance is:

 not necessarily about giving more financial services, but about increasing outreach

This echoes the earlier sentiment made by Alessandro Tappi from the European Investment Fund, that microfinance should perhaps instead be referred to as “inclusive finance”, as it’s a more fitting description of what microfinance institutions based throughout Europe achieve.

Reflecting on the conference, Scotcash CEO Sharon MacPherson said:

For more than 10 years, microfinance has figured on the European agenda and Scotcash is now part of a European movement raising awareness of these issues, while calling for more recognition and investment for organisations like our own. 

The work we do at Scotcash can and does make a huge difference for our customers, not just to get a better deal on credit, but in taking time to talk to them about their situation and offering a whole range of support services.