Sam Mendelson

‘Financial Inclusion for Sustainable Development’: European Microfinance Week Nov. 18th – 20th

European Microfinance Week (EMW), taking place Nov. 18– 20 in Luxembourg, is a major annual event featuring high level, in-depth discussions by all sectors of the European microfinance community. The conversation will include banks and financial institutions, government agencies, NGOs, consulting firms, researchers and universities working in developing countries. Organized by the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), one of the industry’s premier networks for knowledge sharing, and supported by the Luxembourg Government, EMW welcomes over 400 top professionals in the microfinance industry each year, from several dozen countries. You can read about the 2014 conference here, and view the agenda for this year’s event here.

The theme of the 2015 European Microfinance Week is Financial Inclusion for Sustainable Development. The event will feature a broad range of plenaries, workshops and smaller working group meetings where the continuous program work of the previous 12 months can be presented and debated. Specific sessions this year will include:

  • A plenary session on “Assessing limits: towards sustainable growth in microfinance”
  • A plenary session covering “Sustainable Development Goals and financial inclusion” (to be moderated by NextBillion Financial Innovation editor James Militzer)
  • Over 20 dedicated workshop sessions on topics that include: whether and how financial inclusion can foster financial stability; assessing impact; the role of apex organizations; best practices in risk management; microfinance investment fund governance; innovations in agri-finance products; and regulation and capacity building – among others.

Running alongside European Microfinance Week is the now-annual European Microfinance Award, jointly organized by the Luxembourg Development Cooperation, e-MFP, and the Inclusive Finance Network (InFiNe) Luxembourg in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB). This year’s award, its sixth edition, covers “Microfinance in post-disaster, post-conflict areas and fragile states,” recognizing MFIs and other financial institutions that operate in post-disaster/post-conflict areas to provide financial and non-financial services aimed at increasing the resilience of the affected population.

The award will be presented during EMW at the European Investment Bank headquarters, and will include a plenary session presenting the three finalists, while the conference venue will feature workshops on resilience in post-natural disaster environments, and financial services in conflict situations.

“As always, this year’s European Microfinance Week will attract a diverse and impressive range of stakeholders from all parts of the financial inclusion ecosystem,” says Christoph Pausch, Executive Secretary of e-MFP. “Along with the prestigious European Microfinance Award, this makes EMW one of the most important events on the industry calendar for the sharing of ideas, innovation and best practice.”

NextBillion will be a media partner at the conference, and will provide live tweeting of the proceedings, along with blog coverage and interviews with some key panelists and speakers after the event. You can follow the conversation on Twitter at #EMW2015.


Sam Mendelson is Knowledge Specialist at Arc Finance, an organization testing different end-user financing mechanisms for clean energy, including through microfinance.


Finance, Impact Assessment, Technology
financial inclusion, impact measurement, microfinance, SDGs