Professional Certificate in Community-Managed Microfinance

Distance Learning

Thursday, September 3, 2020 to Monday, November 30, 2020

Savings Groups (SGs) are community-based financial institutions where members mobilize and manage their own savings, pooling this money in a loan fund from which they can borrow in amounts as small as $5. This approach has proved to be low-cost, highly sustainable, and extremely profitable for the member-owners while achieving significant scale, especially in remote rural areas. In Africa and Asia , it is estimated that SGs are now established in more than 75 countries worldwide, reaching more than 15 million members in over 750,000 groups.

However, SGs are becoming increasingly overcapitalized and require linkages to formal financial institutions and virtual wallets. This is being accelerated through digital platforms developed in partnership with Financial Technology (FinTech) companies. The advent of savings groups technologies has increased visibility of a group’s financial history, making for informed financial linkages between savings groups and financial services providers. This course covers knowledge that contributes to effective strategic engagement with relevant stakeholders in terms of product development, designing appropriate delivery channels, and managing partnerships in digitized savings groups operations in the context of emerging financial technology and industry demands for increasing access to finance for the unbanked. This online course benefits from contributions of the last 7 cohorts (from 2018) and covers content in 3 sectors: Digital Financial Services; Community-Managed Microfinance (Savings Groups) and Banking at the Last-Mile. The course is designed to achieve specific objectives and learning outcomes, mainly below:

Learning Objectives

    • Guiding financial inclusion practitioners through a focused roadmap of technology-enabled business models at the bottom of the financial pyramid;
    • Introduce participants to the concept and framework of savings groups financial linkages from a demand-side (NGOs) and a supply-side (financial service providers) perspective;
    • Introduce participants to the concept of digital savings groups (DSGs) in development programming, including a barrier analysis;
    • Expose participants to the methodological approaches, set-up, and training tools employed by major implementing organizations in promoting savings groups linkages with financial and non-financial services providers.

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain in-depth understanding of different savings groups models and historical background.
  • Improve your savings groups programs by learning about sound practices and innovations in community-based approaches to microfinance and financial linkages in development practice.
  • Understand opportunities in financial inclusion presented by savings groups at the last-mile.
  • Gain in-depth understanding of savings groups digitization concepts and pathways to transitioning traditional savings groups programs into digitized savings groups operations;
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of areas in product design, governance, networking, and partnership development leading to financial linkages between savings groups and financial and non-financial service providers such as banks and micro-insurance providers.
  • Network with sector leaders, fellow practitioners, and experienced facilitators in digital savings groups, financial linkages, micro-insurance and community-based financial institutions.

6 Modules; 3 Live Sessions; One Project Paper and a Certificate of Completion

Course Fees: $250

Organizer E-learn Center
Related Region / Country Global /
Related Resources Course Page  -  English (en)

Keywords Community Based Finance

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08/12/2020 to 10/12/2020
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