According to the World Bank, there are more than 500 million economically active poor individuals in the world operating microenterprises and small businesses, and most of them do not have access to financial services. One of the ways by which their demand for financial services has been met is through the provisions of microcredit. The microfinance industry has been very successful in helping the poor to obtain necessary financial resources for entrepreneurship purposes, as the support for such activities is perceived to reduce poverty and empower certain segments of the population. However, there are still a vast number of poor individuals who have not been able to benefit from this financial assistance, which clearly points out the need for the microfinance industry to grow and become more sustainable. It needs to generate greater support from the donors as well as to play a greater role in the financial sector.
The course is designed to help participants learn about sustainable microfinance in terms of principles and good practices as they are applied by worldwide institutions today. It provides a comprehensive overview of the microeconomic fundamentals and how microfinance activities are implemented, evaluated, and managed. It will also help individuals gain greater insight into microfinance practices.
At the end of the course, the participants should be able to:
- Describe the concept and principles of microfinance
- Identify issues that hinder the success of microfinance in their country
- Explain to a group of would-be operators of microenterprises and small businesses the significant components of microfinance such as financial instruments and lending methodologies, performance evaluation and management and preparing financial statements
- Appraise the state of microfinance in their respective country
- Recommend positive approaches that will facilitate the poor’s access to financial services.