With a growing number of Fintech platforms and increased digitalization infiltrating the microfinance industry, the pressure to adapt and implement these technologies in order to stay competitive and innovative puts MFIs to the test. While some microfinance industries excel at digitalization, others struggle to keep up. Part of the challenge of technological transformation is the widespread skepticism of leaving behind traditional operations to adopt more digital ways of working. How well the industry has adapted to these changes and challenges varies from region to region and opens a multitude of possibilities to learn and start shifting from the basics to more complex areas of digitalization.
Changing social expectations, like increased gender equality, and unprecedented external factors, like the outbreak of COVID-19, have major influences on the operational success of MFIs around the APAC region and have become common points of concern. This conference will be a platform for experts and industry professionals operating within microfinance to convene, network, and share knowledge and experiences. The common themes and topics of discussion will include the difficulties of digitalization and key trends for microfinance industry-players, challenging traditional working systems and innovating, and becoming more agile to changing external factors.
- Addressing One of the Great Pitfalls of Microfinance: Over-Indebtedness
- Building Resilience to the Influences of Changing External Factors
- PANEL DISCUSSION: COVID-19 and Microfinance – Impacts and Adjustments in the Asia-Pacific Region
- Addressing the Gender Financing Gap
- Tablet Banking: Looking Beyond the Basics
- WORKSHOP: Finetuning Digitalization – Tools for Creating an Integrated Strategy for MFIs
- Digital Competition: Surviving and Innovating
- Digital Lending: Adapting to a New Lending Model
- DFS Innovations Extending Financial Inclusion
- Mobile Wallets
- PANEL DISCUSSION: Similar Economies, Varied Levels of Financial Inclusion
- Leaving Behind Traditional Risk Assessment Models
- Catering to Customers Unprepared for Technological Transformation
- Exploring Alternative Sources of Capital
- A Detour: P2P Lending
- Resources Per Developmental Stage
- Looking Beyond Capital Funding
The Financial Times and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, will gather top investors, innovators, social entrepreneurs and other thought leaders for a major online event that will combine the announcement of the winners of the 2021 FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards with high-level debate on the challenges facing the developing world as it rebuilds in the wake of the pandemic.
To reflect efforts to ensure an environmentally and socially resilient recovery, as well as the renewed global drive to address the climate emergency, this year’s awards honour those who are contributing to substantive progress in developing low-carbon urban infrastructure, smart agriculture and sustainable supply chains, and using disruptive technologies to deliver healthcare solutions and the education and skills training required for increasingly digital economies.
The 2021 awards also recognise impact investment funds that are helping to scale up the most promising initiatives, and the innovative financial solutions being rolled out to boost female empowerment and women-led businesses in traditionally underserved sectors.
All 35 short-listed initiatives will be presented in detail during the event, which will also include agenda-setting discussions on the climate challenge, the technologies that will accelerate a post-pandemic recovery, and how impact investing can be directed towards projects that will ensure more inclusive outcomes.
Time: 12:20 PM BST l 7:20 AM ET