Showing the new era of microfinance

As part of the European Microfinance Day, an international workshop on microfinance and sustainable development was organized by the Spanish Universtiy of Cadiz in Jerez, with speakers from Europe and South America.

Tibor Szekfü, president of the Hungarian Microfinance Network and Peter Vonnak, vice-president of the network were invited to the event. Peter Vonnák held a presentation about Micro entrepreneurs and microfinance: the Hungarian experience. He also presented the “ATM for SMEs” project, the partnership and the main goals of the project. He described the learning process which already led to real policy changes, facilitating the access to microfinance schemes in the different countries. The good practices collected within the project helped the development of the action plans, which are the main outcomes of the project. The complete realization of the action plans can result in significant developments in the field of microfinance: extended social outreach of microfinance programmes, new funding schemes, capital funds and innovative actions for engaging private partners in microfinance.

According to Mr Vonnák, these initiatives elaborated in the ATM for SMEs project can show the path towards the future of microfinance in Europe. The more effective utilization of public funds in microfinance can lead to social and economic benefits across the regions, which go far beyond the loan disbursement.

The project film “Dare to live” was also presented to the audience, and it was received with great appreciation.

The cooperation of lead partner FEA and the University of Cadiz started in 2015 and they developed the educational programme of Master on Microfinance, Human rights and Development cooperation. The education is fully online, and the degree can be obtained in 1 year. The module on Microfinance – developed by FEA – can also be completed separately, during a 3-months course. Tibor Szekfü and Peter Vonnak, acknowledged Hungarian experts of Microfinance, are the lecturers in the on-line learning videos.

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