COVID-19 UPDATE: MFC-EMN ANNUAL CONFERENCE MOVING ONLINE >>>
Lockdown measures and other restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic have now been affecting all of us for weeks. As we see them being gradually lifted, we are faced with the difficult task of keeping a vigilant stance and a duty not to let our guard down. For these reasons, the Microfinance Centre and the European Microfinance Network have decided to cancel their joint Annual Conference initially scheduled for Sofia, Bulgaria.
However, flexibility and agility define the sector our two organisations proudly represent, and bringing this sector together is an objective second to none in these uncertain times. The way forward is clear: we are moving the MFC-EMN Annual Conference online!
While digitalisation remains a key priority for the near future, we must collectively address the impact of the unprecedented crisis we are going through. It will be the central focus of the various sessions organised during this three-day event; a remote yet lively celebration of the European microfinance sector’s achievements, resilience, and potential for the post-COVID era.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned and stay safe!
With kind regards,
The MFC and EMN team
Working together in a time of digital disruption
Over the last decades, technology has gradually changed the way we engage with the world. In the last few years alone, the rise of cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence and fintech has transformed entire business processes and systems. The microfinance sector is of course not immune to this digitalisation process which, while providing numerous benefits to customers and providers, also introduces a completely new way of doing business that is often removed from MFIs’ core expertise and comfort zone. Most European and Central Asian microfinance institutions have made significant steps towards using new technologies in their operations, but this work has not yet resulted in new business models.
The 2020 MFC-EMN Annual Conference in Sofia will help us take stock of the work that has been done so far on the technology front. It will also address some of the pressing questions about the future of the sector:
- How can microfinance reap the full benefits that technology offers today?
- What are the most promising technology-based business models and what can microfinance institutions learn from them?
- What kind of alliances and partnerships do we need to establish to enhance the economic benefits to businesses, communities and providers?
- How can we address other disruptive forces that the world is struggling with, such as climate change?
This conference will also be an opportunity to celebrate the integration of MFC and EMN, an exciting partnership and important step forward for the future of the social finance sector in Europe and worldwide. Both networks are joining skills and resources to become an even more relevant facilitator of the social and economic change. Both have contributed to the development and success of the microfinance sector and we would like to celebrate this special occasion with all of you.
We look forward to seeing you in Sofia!