About Boulder InstituteAbout Boulder Institute

The Boulder Institute

Every year, the Boulder Institute brings together hundreds of microfinance leaders and practitioners to discover and discuss new strategies and fundamental themes for the development and advancement of the global industry. By incorporating new tools and techniques, MFIs can offer better financial services to the world’s poorest.

Our History

The Flagship MFT Program

The Boulder Institute’s flagship Microfinance Training (MFT) Program has entered its 3rd decade.  During our first decade, we held the original English-language program in the city which gave us our name - Boulder, Colorado. The MFT began as a Development Finance program within the Center for World Banking and Finance at the Economics Institute. After two years, it became a stand-alone training and later moved to the campus of Naropa University.

In 2004, we formed the Boulder Institute of Microfinance and relocated the MFT to the ILO International Training Centre in northern Italy. From our new home in Turin, we entered into our second successful decade (2004-2014) with the launch of a French-language edition of the MFT.

The success and impact of the French-language program drove the inception of the MFT in Spanish to address specific issues facing the Latin American microfinance community. Since 2007, the Spanish program has been held in different locations throughout Latin America including Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia, Uruguay, Peru, Ecuador and Mexico.

The Shifting Financial Inclusion Paradigm

In 2008, to further advance the industry, Boulder Institute organized two important paradigm-shifting events. The first, the Boulder-Bergamo Forum on Access to Financial Services in Bergamo, Italy, focused on issues affecting the provision of rural financial services. That same year, we organized the Pocantico Meeting in New York which brought together leaders in microfinance from around the world to both reflect on the sector and explore fundamental principles of financial inclusion.

Governance and Leadership

In 2013, Boulder Institute partnered with Calmeadow and the Center for Financial Inclusion in Mexico City to open up a needed conversation about growth and risk in competitive markets with top Latin American microfinance leaders.  

The MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion

Between 2013 and 2015, Boulder Institute partnered with The Mastercard Foundation to organize “The MasterCard Foundation Symposium on Financial Inclusion: Clients at the Center”. The 2014 edition took place in Turin, Italy and brought together 300 microfinance industry leaders from around the globe. The 2015 edition was held in Cape Town, South Africa. 

Rural and Agriultural Finance Program (RAFP) in English

In 2015, Boulder Institute, in partnership with FAO and CABFIN, launched the Rural and Agricultural Finance Program to address and respond to the unique needs of financial providers serving rural SMEs and agricultural households. Our first year attracted 22 participants from 15 different countries. The program has grown steadily since then, attracting 55 participants in 2016 and 57 the following year. 

Back to Boulder: Strategic Response to Risk in Microfinance Markets (B2B)

In 2016, Boulder Institute partnered with the International Finance Corporation to launch Back to Boulder: Strategic Response to Risk in Microfinance Markets at their headquarters in Washington, D.C. B2B is an executive education program designed especially for CEOs, Board Members and other executives of financial institutions serving the poor. More than 20 faculty – leading experts from both within and outside of the industry – guide participants in addressing challenges such as increased competition, saturated markets, changing legislation and disruptive innovation. 

Rural and Agricultural Finance Program (RAFP) in Spanish

In 2018, we will hold our inaugural Spanish language Rural and Agricultural Finance Program alongside our Spanish MFT in Merida, Mexico. The program is designed to provide additional depth to the already experienced agricultural finance specialist, bringing a global perspective on how to meet the particular financial needs of rural SMEs and agricultural households. 

Boulder Institute continues to respond to changes in the industry with the addition of new and topical programs. Stay tuned for future programming announcements! 

Boulder MFT 1998

Participants from Boulder MFT 1998 - English Program

Boulder MFT Turin 2014

Participants from Boulder MFT Turin 2014 - English and French Programs

Boulder Institute of Microfinance

120 E Washington Street Suite 325
Syracuse, New York 13202, USA
+1 (315) 760-3091


Boulder Institute