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European Microfinance Conference 2018

On 4 and 5 October the most important European Annual Microfinance Conference was held in Bilbao, and also one of the most relevant worldwide.

This important conference in the microfinance sector has been organized by the two networks that operate at the European level, the European Microfinance Network (EMN) made up of 114 members from 24 countries, mainly from central Europe and western Europe and Micro-Finance Centre (MFC) made up of 108 members from 36 countries in Asia and eastern Europe.

In this edition, Seed Capital Bizkaia Mikro has played the role of the host organization, collaborating in the organization and logistics of the Conference. This space has provided an ideal opportunity for experts in the microfinance sector to exchange experiences and put down the bases of future alliances for their joint strategies.

This event has been an important turning point as it was the first time that the two organizations held their annual conference in a joint manner

The opening ceremony was chaired by Unai Rementeria, Deputy General of Bizkaia, accompanied by Ann Branch, head of the job creation unit of the European Commission’s Employment Department and by Francisco de Paula Coelho, Dean of the Institute of the European Investment Bank .

During the conference the technological challenges and the opportunities of digitalization were analysed under the slogan “people and the digital revolution: Moving forward in our social mission through technology”. In a total of 16 workshops and 2 plenary meetings a large range of issues were analysed with an impact on the world of microfinance, such as the use of the fintech, the management of the Big Data, crowdfunding, risk management instruments, immigration, entrepreneurship, the social impact of the micro-finance and the measurement systems, current trends in social investment, among others.

The plenary session closing the conference was organized by Guillermo Dorronsoro who was the Dean of the Deusto Business School and is currently North Area Director of Ibermática.

After the conference, the two associations have positively valued this first joint meeting. The high number of participants, the good valuation received on the content, as well as the synergies made possible, represent a good boost to continue working in convergence spaces that contribute to strengthening the microfinance sector.

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