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Day 2; 25 May

 

Overview

CONFERENCE DAY 2: Thursday, 25 May
COFFEE BREAK + SOCIAL INVESTORS FAIR
09:00-10:00 Social Investors update: changing interest rate environment and its consequences for microfinance
10:00-11:15 Workshop 1a Workshop 1b Workshop 1c Workshop 1d
Microfinance in Bosnia, Europe and globally Social enterprises: A new market segment for microfinance? Migrants and refugees – new and different wave Local Currency Financing: FX Risks & Hedging Solutions
COFFEE BREAK + SOCIAL INVESTORS FAIR
11:45-13:00 Workshop 2a Workshop 2b Workshop 2c
Development and importance of counseling and education services for citizens New financial instruments for EU MFIs (followed by Financial Inclusion Ambassadors Award Ceremony) New markets and market segments for microfinance: frontier countries & EU
13:00-14:30 Lunch break MFC member and DG Employment representatives lunch discussion (by invitation only)
14:30-15:45 Workshop 3a Workshop 3b Workshop 3c
Working together for common good: Inspiring examples of microfinance social and community engagement Understanding what it takes for an MFi to go digital Who says banks cannot be social? Find out how to become one!
19:00 Gala Dinner

 

Description

Social Investors update: changing interest rate environment and its consequences for microfinance

While the world economy has been recovering and achieving stable levels of growth, microfinance markets in the ECA face a number of political and economic challenges.  In particular, unstable interest rates pose a challenge for microfinance funding.  How has the interest rate challenge affected the Microfinance Investment Funds?  How will it affect the microfinance institutions?  What impact will it have on microfinance clients?  In this session, we’ll put these very difficult questions directly to representatives of social investors, and explore recent trends in microfinance investment in the ECA region.

Moderator:
Charles Olson, BlueOrchard Finance S.A., Switzerland

Panelists:
Benoit Bouet, responsAbility Investments AG, Switzerland
Daniel Schriber, Symbiotics SA, Switzerland
Jasminka Begert, Finance in Motion GmbH, Bosnia and Herzegovina
International Finance Corporation (IFC), USA

 

Workshop 1a - Microfinance in Bosnia, Europe and globally

This panel will provide a guided tour of the past 20 years of the microfinance sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina and globally. We’ll explore the following questions:  why did microfinance start in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Europe around the world? Has it really made a contribution to economic activity through supporting start-ups and microbusinesses. What have the challenges been? How were these addressed? What current challenges exist, and what are we doing about them?  What is the role of ecosystem and respective stakeholders: what gaps and opportunities exist?  What is the future of microfinance? More of the same, a complete paradigm shift, or something in-between? With the benefit of hindsight, what could or should the microfinance sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina done differently?

Moderator:
Mejra Juzbašić-Bajgorić, Finance in Motion GmbH, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Panelists:
Rolf Behrndt, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Russian Federation
Natasa Goronja, The Boulder Institute of Microfinance, USA

 

Workshop 1b - Social enterprises: A new market segment for microfinance?

The line traditionally drawn between microfinance and social enterprise is thin, and fading fast. Because many microfinance institutions are doing business to achieve a social purpose — and are in this way defined as social enterprises. Indeed, some argue that microfinance is the oldest form of social enterprise! The last few years have seen a significant growth of the social enterprise sector in Europe and elsewhere. The big question is: can we imagine synergies between these two socially-minded enterprise sectors? During this workshop we will provide evidence of the growing significance of the social enterprise sector in Europe as well as debating points as to why microfinance institutions should be thinking about serving social enterprises.

Moderator:
Samuel Clause, European Investment Fund (EIF), Luxembourg

Panelists:
Michal Radziwill, CoopEst, Belgium
Peter Surek, Erste Group Bank AG (EGB), Austria

 

Workshop 1c - Migrants and refugees – new and different wave

We’ve been here before: microfinance institutions opening their doors to serve refugee and migrant populations. What lessons from the past can we leverage to effectively adapt our services today? Against a complex regional context of large numbers of migrants arriving into the region, unpredictable migration patterns, an uncertain political environment, waning local support for refugees, as well as internally displaced people, the session will discuss good practices and possible new models for microfinance.

Moderator:
Micol Pistelli, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Switzerland  

Panelists:
Maria Nowak, ADIE, France
Katie Hoffman, Social Performance Task Force, USA
Abdoulaye Fall, Self-Funded Communities-Winkomun, Spain

 

Workshop 2a - Development and importance of counseling and education services for citizens

Advocating financial literacy and financial consumer rights protection is one of the most important jobs facing the microfinance sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This panel will introduce the Association “Plus”, which provides financial counseling and education services as a response to the economic crises in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This initiative was launched by three microcredit organizations from B&H (Mi Bospo, EKI and Partner), and the idea has received the support of other partners, especially from EFSE, IFC and SECO. Participants will review the on-the-round experience of Association “Plus”, its project partners and municipalities, benefits created, and possibilities for establishing such services in other countries. Participants will also see a preview of a short movie on establishing financial counseling services in municipalities across Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Moderator:        
Tarik Limo, Association „Plus“, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Panelists:          
Nejira Nalić, MCF MI Bospo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Almir Tanović, Embassy of Switzerland in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mejra Juzbašić-Bajgorić, Finance in Motion GmbH, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ruvjeda Aliefendić, World Bank Group, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Adnan Bahtić, Association „Plus“, Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

Workshop 2b - New financial instruments for EU MFIs (followed by Financial Inclusion Ambassadors Award Ceremony)

During this briefing, we will present new programmes and instruments for microfinance institutions recently announced by the European Commission (EC), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF). These include “EaSI Capacity Building Investments Window”, a new initiative to help microcredit and social enterprise finance providers develop their business under the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). Practitioners will hear from EU representatives on how to access financial and non-financial instruments, as well as practical concerns and experience they have working with EU instruments to support microfinance. If you are from an EU or pre-accession country (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia or Turkey), come and ask questions and give your feedback on the EU support programmes for microfinance.

Moderator:
Jorge Ramirez, European Microfinance Network (EMN), Brussels

Panelists:
Samuel Clause, European Investment Fund (EIF), Luxembourg
Christos Pouris, European Investment Bank (EIB), Luxembourg
Dimitrios Niafas, European Commission (EC), Belgium (tbc)

 

Workshop 2c - New markets and market segments for microfinance: frontier countries & EU

After two decades of microfinance development, are there still untapped markets in Eurasia? The workshop will discuss the case of large, unserved regions with high demand for microfinance: in traditional emerging markets (Russian North Caucasus), in frontier markets (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan), and in developed markets (France, Greece). The panel will discuss the different challenges, and different approaches needed, to serve each of these new markets or market segments.

Moderator:        
Marco Leonardo de Natale, FINCA Russia, Russian Federation

Panelists:
Neoklis Stamkos, Business and Cultural Development Centre (KEPA), Greece
Maria Nowak, ADIE, France
Dildora Tadjibaeva, Independent Consultant, Uzbekistan

 

Workshop 3a - Working together for common good: Inspiring examples of microfinance social and community engagement

How can MFIs respond to serious social concerns, and support the development of local communities in a way that creates and preserves the jobs that are vital for every economy, strengthens community bonds, and is ecologically-concerned?  Who are the right partners to make this happen? How should those relationships be structured?  What funding opportunities and concerns exist? This panel will discuss four examples of social and community engagement by microfinance institutions in Europe:

  • The engagement of two Bosnian and Herzegovinian MFIs (Mikrofin and Partner) in the Flood Relief Credit Program to provide zero-interest loans to flood affected businesses and households, in collaboration with the German and the Governdment of Bosnia and Herzegovina  through KfW
  • A grant program for flooded businesses and households by MFI Partner, in collaboration with local authorities, and Mercy Corps to restore local economic activity and livelihoods after the floods
  • A special business plan contest to boost local entrepreneurship and new business creation, organized by Vitas Romania
  • PerMicro Lab, a dedicated business incubator managed and operated in association with the Italian MFI PerMicro.
These programs demonstrate that microfinance can be an efficient tool with which to achieve broader policy objectives, beyond access to finance for low income households and entrepreneurs.


Moderator:       
Dželila Hadžović, KfW, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Panelists:           
Braco Erceg, Mikrofin, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Senad Sinanovic, Partner, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Cristian Jurma, Vitas, Romania
Corrado Ferretti, Per Micro, Italy

 

Workshop 3b - Understanding what it takes for an MFi to go digital

New digital technologies are enabling MFIs to become more efficient, reduce operating costs and serve their clients better. However, to get the real benefits of digital technology, MFIs need to understand what digitalization can do for them, how to implement it, and how to create an effective digital strategy. Moderator Antonio Separovic brings to this panel ten years of experience implementing MFI core banking systems, and will lead a discussion on how MFIs can fully take advantage of new digital technologies. The experts and members of the MFC Digitalization Working Group will also share the lessons they’ve learned through their own transition into the digital revolution.

Moderator:
Antonio Separovic, Oradian, Croatia

Panelists:
Radu Toma, Vitas, Romania
Charlene Bachman, Software Group, Bulgaria
Neoklis Stamkos, Business and Cultural Development Centre (KEPA), Greece

 

Workshop 3c - Who says banks cannot be social? Find out how to become one!

Social banks have become important social and financial players in many European countries.  They are driven by social missions, and are committed to a vision of social responsibility and sustainability that is not only institutional, but includes the development and empowerment of local communities. They focus on delivering basic financial services; offer support to social enterprises, self-employed people, micro and small businesses; and they finance community-based initiatives. In many respects, they are similar to microfinance institutions, but in fact they do much more than an average MFI.  Have you ever considered becoming a social bank?  Join this workshop to find out how the best social banks in Europe go about their social missions and discuss if there is a way for your MFI to transform into a social bank.

Moderator:        
Iskra Andreeva Aleksoska, Alliance for Financial Inclusion, Malaysia

Panelists:           
Rosanna Sarkeyeva, Triodos Investment Management BV, The Netherlands
Peter Surek, Erste Group Bank AG (EGB), Austria 
Damian Pilka, GLS Gemeinschaftsbank, Germany

 

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© 2017 GUARANT International
© 2017 GUARANT International