Event name: Inclusive Financial Services Stakeholders Conference
Event date: October 23 and October 24, 2012
Event location: Hotel Rotana, Erbil, Iraq
Event Summary: This two-day event will focus on the Iraqi microfinance industry with the underlying theme of “The Path to Economic and Social Advancement”. It will involve twelve microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Iraq along with “Iraqi policy makers, donors, commercial bankers, regional network [representatives], international resource organizations and representatives from the US Agency for International Development” (USAID). There will be discussions on the current Iraqi legal and regulatory environment, as well as anticipated opportunities in the country’s microfinance industry over the next decade. As of June 2012, Iraq’s microfinance industry reportedly serves 93,627 customers with an outstanding loan portfolio of USD 144 million.
Background on Organizers: USAID-Tijara Provincial Economic Growth Program, an initiative promoting private sector growth and employment in Iraq, is organizing this year’s conference in partnership with twelve Iraqi MFIs and the Iraqi Microfinance Network. USAID-Tijara aims to foster the growth of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to support economic and social development. It provides governance, financial services, policy advocacy and technical services. USAID had a total of USD 23.8 billion in budgetary resources in 2011. The Iraqi Microfinance Network, a collection of 12 MFIs of Iraq, was created to assist Iraqi microfinance practitioners to mobilize support and standardize practices. All MFIs in the network have agreed to follow a Code of Conduct and Ethics that mandates ethical behavior and commitment to low-income Iraqis. As of 2011, the members of the Iraqi Microfinance Industry Network had a total outstanding loan portfolio of USD 121 million and approximately 86,289 active borrowers.
Event Website: http://imfi.org/en/node/25739
For additional information, you may contact the organizers by email at mfconference2012[at]tijara-iraq.com or by phone at +1 202 684 7473.
USAID offers a suite of resources aimed at improving the outcomes of microenterprise development research and practice at http://microlinks.kdid.org/.
By Sarah Benali, Research Associate
Sources and Additional Resources:
 Inclusive Financial Services Stakeholders Conference, “Iraqi microfinance conference in Erbil to discuss inclusive financial services (expansion, greater outreach to poor,” http://imfi.org/en/node/25739
MicroCapital.org Story: “MICROFINANCE EVENT: Inclusive Financial Services Stakeholders Conference, Erbil, Iraq, October 3- October 4, 2012”, October 2, 2011,
MicroCapital Universe Profile: USAID-Tijara
MicroCapital Universe Profile: USAID
MicroCapital Universe Profile: The Iraqi Microfinance Industry Network http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Iraqi+Microfinance+Industry+Network