First European Microfinance day with financial support from European Commisssion.
Microfinance has in recent years been recognized in Europe as an important and useful tool for starting and development of small businesses, and also contributes to self-employment and creating new jobs by providing financial resources – microloans and non-financial services (training, mentoring, advice, etc.), primarily to unemployed people and marginalized groups. In order to raise benefits for the economy and society and to be more visible, it is necessary to work further on the improvement of microfinance as a concept, which requires answers to the following questions:
- Does the existing definition of microfinance really defines the purpose and goals and does it provides answers to new challenges?
- Are the EU programs intended for microfinance designed and do they fit the needs of the sector?
- How could different regulatory frameworks at the national level better adapt to the needs of sector development?
- Should the EU programs include more specific non-financial support?
Therefore, First European Microfinance day, will try to answer those questions but will also strive to achieve the following objectives: :
- Explain to the economic and political decision makers what are the effects of microfinance and present them development plans and programs.
- Attract the attention of the European media on the operation and the type of support that microfinance in Europe provides to citizens, the unemployed and those who lack access to traditional banking sector.
- Exchange of experiences within the European microfinance sector in order to achieve visibility of the EMN and MFC network members.
- To encourage local members to work to raise awareness of its mission and results at national and local levels.
Celebration of the First European Microfinance day will begin on October 19th with an opening session addressed to representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Investment Bank, the European Economic and Social Committee and the other EU institutions. The opening ceremony will be attended by Her Majesty Queen Matilda of Belgium and the Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and mobility of workers, Mrs. Marianne Thyssen, as chairman and as a speaker. Then, on October 20th, will be organized workshop: Regulations and laws for microfinance in Europe: Current situation and opportunities for improvement.
Several different events will be performed throughout Europe, organized by local partners, microfinance organizations, EMN network members.
The microfinance sector in Europe managed to gain significant results in terms of reducing unemployment in the EU countries and the creation of new jobs, which is proved by statistical data, from which can be concluded that a microenterprise lending employs two people. At the same time, microloans are contributing to the growth of tax revenues.
In particular, during the year 2013, EU has disbursed close to 400,000 microcredits totaling € 1.5 billion, which is 50% more than in 2011. Microcredit encourages entrepreneurship, especially where financial support is combined with non-financial services.