Debating Technology, Partnerships, Trends and Institutions: EMW 2018 Finishes With a Look at Past, Present and Future

26 Nov 2018

European Microfinance Week (#EMW2018), organized by the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), concluded on 16 Nov in Luxembourg, with an 'Oxford-style' plenary debate on the future relevance of Tier 2 & 3 MFIs, with Maria-Teresa Zappia from BlueOrchard Finance, Alex Silva from OMTRIX, Kaspar Wansleben from Luxembourg Microfinance Development Fund, and consultant Maude Massu debating the motion "This House Believes There's No Room Left for the Little Guy".

Both Affirmative and Negative teams addressed issues such as the commercial viability of smaller institutions, the key element of (economies of) scale and cheaper cost of capital that Tier 1 MFIs can offer and access, the key role smaller MFIs can play in offering non-financial services and supporting the lower-income segments, and their unique role in 'preparing' clients for access to the mainstream financial services via Tier 1 MFIs and commercial banks.

The closing plenary followed two days of workshops and plenaries: an opening session moderated by Triple Jump's Gera Voorrips with representatives of the three European Microfinance Award 2018 finalists - Advans Cote d'Ivoire, ESAF Small Finance Bank in India and KMF in Kazakhstan, along with Lisa Chassin from PHB Development, who presented their technology initiatives and addressed some of the cautionary issues raised by Microsave's Graham Wright in his earlier keynote address.

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