Microfinance is constantly facing significant changes: microfinance products are being developed and modified by microfinance institutions (MFIs); more and more financial institutions, banks, fintech and other organizations, such as credit unions, guarantee funds and mobile operators are getting involved in microfinance; national authorities are developing and tightening up regulations in order to facilitate and speed up further financial sector development.
The Global Savings Groups Conference Series is a biennial conference that engages a large and diverse community of stakeholders. The event develops and promotes improved standards of practice, mobilizes knowledge, strengthens partnerships and alliances, and creates opportunities for cross-organizational learning. Since 2011, The SEEP Network has been an active contributor to the Global Savings Groups Conference Series. Each event in this series has also served as a catalyst to increase the scale, sustainability, and impact of Savings Groups in the host country and region.
Over the years, the microfinance industry in the Arab region has experienced significant developments aiming to contribute to poverty alleviation, achieve broad-based economic development and improve access to finance which ultimately advance financial inclusion and help in achieving several goals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The world over, it has been observed that as microfinance institutions grow and begin to achieve huge scale in terms of outreach of loans to low income segments of the society, challenges related to how to secure financing in the amounts needed and under acceptable terms become more & more apparent. Needed are also ancillary services like rating agencies, training opportunities, social investors etc. An investment forum under such circumstances is a viable platform where all related institutions converge and explore what is feasible and what could be improved and rolled out.
Does access to finance lead to women’s political empowerment?
Despite the great strides being made globally towards gender equality, the full economic and political empowerment of women remains elusive. Men still outnumber women in decision-making roles and vastly outnumber women in legislatures around the world.