MICROFINANCE EVENT: Cracking the Nut Conference; June 12 – 13, 2018; Antigua, Guatemala

Event Name: Cracking the Nut Conference 2018

Event Date: June 12 – June 13, 2018

Event Location: Antigua, Guatemala

Summary of Event: This conference will focus on how technology can improve agricultural microfinance for poor people in rural areas. It includes a technology fair as well as sessions on the themes “Introducing Technologies

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Global Savings Group Conference; May 22 – 24, 2018; Kigali, Rwanda

Event Name: Global Savings Group Conference 2018

Event Date: May 22 – May 24, 2018

Event Location: Kigali, Rwanda

Summary of Event: This fourth iteration of this conference is themed “The Power of Savings Groups. Inclusion. Resilience. Empowerment.” Sessions will be based on the following tracks: (1) Systemic Approaches to Increase Scale, Sustainability, and Impact; (2) Access to Formal Financial Services; (3)

MICROFINANCE EVENT: 5th Sankalp Africa Summit; March 1 – 2, 2018; Nairobi, Kenya

Event Name: 5th Sankalp Africa Summit 2018

Event Date: March 1 – 2, 2018

Event Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Summary of Event: This conference focuses on harnessing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to create growth in Africa. Sample session topics include “Driving the Sustainable Development Agenda:

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Investing for Impact Conference; February 15, 2018; New York, USA

Event Name: Investing for Impact Conference 2018

Event Date: February 15, 2018

Event Location: New York, New York

Summary of Event: This conference will cover inequality worldwide and how investors can take advantage of related opportunities to invest in a socially responsible way. The speaker list includes Eric Usher, the head of the finance initiative of the UN Environment Programme; Evan W

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Mobile World Conference 2018; February 26 – March 1, 2018; Barcelona, Spain

Event Name: Mobile World Conference 2018

Event Date: February 26 – March 1, 2018

Event Location: Barcelona, Spain

Summary of Event: This conference brings industry leaders together to cover recent trends and developments in the telecommunications industry. About 100,000 people from 200 countries are expected to attend. Among the networking opportunities and presentations are: “Expanding Digital Services

MICROFINANCE EVENT: 2018 Customer Centricity Learning Event; February 19 – 22, 2018; Mamallapuram, India

Event Name: 2018 Customer Centricity Learning Event

Event Date: February 19 – 22, 2018

Application deadline: January 19, 2018

Event Location: Mamallapuram, India

Summary of Event: This event is intended to improve the ways financial services providers work with low-income customers. The conference includes training exercises and networking events designed to improve social

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: “Microinsurance Master” Program Offers 10 Weeks of Immersion, Coaching on Scaling Up Insurance Services for Poor People

A new program called Microinsurance Master is offering two weeks of training at Pioneer Microinsurance, a Philippines-based firm with 18 million customers, followed by eight weeks of remote coaching intended to help participants “focus on client-centric solutions that reduce the vulnerability of low-income people and

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Harvard Business School (HBS)-Accion Program on Strategic Leadership in Inclusive Finance; March 25 – 30, 2018; Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Event Name: Harvard Business School-Accion Program on Strategic Leadership in Inclusive Finance

Event Date: March 25 – 30, 2018

Event Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Summary of Event: This event is intended to allow participants to improve their leadership skills and strategic thinking regarding topics such as “serving clients at the base of the pyramid,” and “your role and the role of your organization in

MICROFINANCE EVENT: 14th Annual Global Microfinance Forum; March 15-16, 2018; Munich, Germany

Event Name: 14th Annual Global Microfinance Forum

Event Date: March 15 – March 16, 2018

Event Location: Munich, Germany

Summary of Event: This conference will include sessions on microleasing, “green” microcredit, managing foreign exchange risk, crowdfunding, serving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), technology, leveraging guarantees

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Africa Banking & Finance Conference; April 10 – 11, 2018; Lagos, Nigeria

Event Name: Africa Banking & Finance Conference

Event Date: April 10 – April 11, 2018

Event Location: Lagos, Nigeria

Summary of Event: This is the seventh iteration of this event, which will focus again on financial inclusion. In addition to a trade show, the conference will include sessions on insurance, savings, payments, capacity building, measuring success, regulation, agent banking, serving women and youth, and how banks can downscale

MICROFINANCE EVENT: $165k Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge and Awards Gala Dinner; November 15, 2017; Dubai, UAE

Event Name: Ethical Finance Innovation Challenge and Awards Gala Dinner

Event Date: November 15, 2017

Event Location: The Ritz Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre, United Arab Emirates

Summary of Event: This is the fifth rendition of a group of awards given by Thomson Reuters, a media firm traded on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges, and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank,

MICROFINANCE EVENT: Second European Microfinance Summit – Future Challenges for Sustainable Development; January 25-26, 2018; Vienna, Austria

Event Name: Second European Microfinance Summit – Future Challenges for Sustainable Development

Event Date: January 25-26, 2018

Event Location: Vienna, Austria

Summary of Event: This event will compare and contrast microfinance in Eastern and Western Europe, focusing the inclusion of people in very rural areas, environmental impacts, technology and

SPECIAL REPORT: Microfinance Investment Vehicles, MFIs “Speed Date” at SAM Investor’s Fair in Ethiopia

Both the “speed dating” and “free meeting” sessions for microfinance institutions (MFIs) to sit down with investors were very popular at SAM Conference 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopiathe SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) conference in Addis Ababa. Representatives of dozens of organizations met each other for the first time and renewed old connections.

Duncan Frayne of Switzerland-based Symbiotics Group spoke on behalf of REGMIFA (the Regional MSME Investment Fund for Sub-Saharan Africa), for which his company serves as investment manager. He said, “The value for me is meeting up-and-coming MFIs as well as

SPECIAL REPORT: Innovations in Fintech, Human Resources Development at SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance)

At SAM Conference 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopiathe SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) conference in Addis Ababa, a wide variety of vendors presented their wares. Among these were several core banking system providers. Antonio Separovic of Oradian previously had set the stage for the conversation at the fintech (financial technology) session organized by Dutch development bank FMO. He argued that microfinance institutions (MFIs) shouldn’t start by thinking about whether to buy a new system, but about where the MFI wants to go and how to get there. “Fintech may be able to reduce the friction to do these things,” he said.

Cameron Goldie-Scot of Musoni agreed: “It’s about what are the challenges in your organization? Is it too expensive to handle cash in rural areas? Do you have trouble getting

SPECIAL REPORT: Public Solutions at SAM: Collateral Registries, Business Training, Higher Microinsurance Uptake Can Promote Entrepreneurship in Africa

At SAM Conference 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopiathe SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) plenary on “Public Solutions to Promote Entrepreneurship in Africa,” Kennedy Komba of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) explained that his institution’s SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprise) Working Group comprises 53 regulatory and policy-making bodies. To facilitate the growth of entrepreneurship, these agencies have created collateral registries, adjusted lender liquidity ratios, updated know-your-customer frameworks and established rules for digital financial services. Trainers in Zambia used a financial education game to reach 5,000 people, of whom 80 percent were able to improve their businesses as a result. In Ghana, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Bank of Ghana collaborated to boost local value chains in an effort to reduce costly

SPECIAL REPORT: At SAM, a “Moral Obligation” to Include More People in the Financial System, Harvesting Wins $12k FMO Fintech for Microfinance Prize for Use of Satellite Data to Boost Agricultural Lending

At the gala dinner at SAM Conference 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopiathe SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) conference, Olivier Massart, the General Manager of ADA, argued that the attendees of the event have incurred a “moral obligation” to increase financial inclusion. The 650+ attendees spent an estimated total of USD 1 million to USD 2 million on travel and registration fees. Because they elected not to spend this money directly on serving poor people, Mr Massart challenged each delegate to bring at least one additional person in to the financial system for each

SPECIAL REPORT: Reinventing Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) to Meet the Needs of SMEs at SAM: Building Staff Capacity, Sharing Default Risk with Investors, Helping Entrepreneurs Think Big

On the second day of SAM Conference 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopiathe SAM (Semaine Africaine de la Microfinance) conference, Godwin Ehigiamusoe of Nigeria’s LAPO discussed the needs and expectations of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). He explained that they generally are sensitive to price and prefer not to post collateral. Loan sizing and duration are key. From a lender’s perspective, SMEs need to get their records out of their heads and onto paper (if not into digital form). The Central Bank of Nigeria has six Entrepreneurship Development Centers at which business owners can get assistance with business plans and other support.

Mr Ehigiamusoe added that LAPO became involved with SME lending as its microenterprise clients grew. Likewise the staff of LAPO was in need of capacity development to serve their clients’ evolving needs. LAPO’s Sufen loan program is designed to identify female entrepreneurs with high growth potential and