Boulder Institute at a glance
MicroFinance Training (MFT) Programs
In its first decade (1994-2004), Boulder offered its annual signature English-language MicroFinance Training (MFT) program in the city which gave it its name: Boulder, Colorado. The MFT is an intensive 2-3 week program that introduces participants to core microfinance issues and allows them to explore areas of special interest via elective classes. Since 2004, the English and French MFT programs have been offered in Turin, Italy. Since its inception in 2007, the Spanish MFT has been transient with its location on the South American continent changing from one year to the next to better facilitate a high participation from each country.
Over Five Thousand Clients
Boulder clients are senior and mid-level staff of microfinance institutions, commercial banks, government agencies (both donors and central banks) and support organizations. An average of 82% of microfinance institution (MFI) participants in Boulder's MFT programs are currently listed in the MIX and 9% of the top 300 MIX-listed MFIs send 50 participants a year to its trainings.
To generate and spread innovation in microfinance, Boulder skillfully identifies faculty talent and expertise, as well as shapes communication flow and moderates exchanges during training sessions and parallel social activities. As a result, participants gain actionable insights, motivation to further their work, determination to innovate and professional relationships that support their efforts to advance financial inclusion.
Boulder training programs:
- create a space for microfinance professionals to critically reflect on how to best provide services which both satisfy the needs of the world's poorest populations and make good business sense for financial service providers,
- expose participants to diverse perspectives on financial inclusion, as well as confront them with the evidence of success and failure in the provision of financial services,
- offer participants analytical models and practical tools while cultivating openness in sharing ideas and experiences with peers and thought leaders, and
- make use of real life examples so participants can project themselves and choose their own course of action in scenarios they are likely to face day-to-day.
Financial Inclusion Themed Events that Congregate the Sector
Beyond its recognized success in training, the Boulder Institute calls for reaching a broad emerging consensus that financial inclusion is feasible and brings along profound social and economic benefits, deserves public support and can be pursued in diverse and distinct ways by individual actors in the field. Thus, the Boulder Institute engages in major conversations about financial exclusion, rural financial services and MFI governance in heated markets. Boulder events such as the Boulder-Bergamo Forum on Access to Financial Services or the Pocantico Meeting in 2008 and The MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion in 2013 and 2014 aimed to question the status quo in the microfinance sector as well as to identify and advocate new and better ways of doing business.