IFC and Boulder Institute Convene Global Microfinance Industry Leaders to Raise Standards, Improve Risk Management
Washington, DC, Nov 28, 2016 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Boulder Institute for Microfinance, today began a special week long program for senior financial inclusion professionals entitled "Back to Boulder: Strategic Response to Risk in Microfinance Markets." Hosted at IFC in partnership with Boulder, the cutting edge program is bringing together over 90 CEOs and senior managers from microfinance institutions from more than 35 countries.
While microfinance has grown as a tool to fight poverty at the base of the pyramid, it has moved beyond simple credit provision to offer a more complex range of products and services across different delivery channels and is embracing new technology. The carefully developed program seeks to address these marked changes through introducing better risk management techniques, increasing the strength and resilience of microfinance institutions while improving financial access for the millions of excluded worldwide.
Martin Holtmann, Manager of Microfinance and Digital Financial Services at IFC said, "As IFC continues to support expanded financial access through the diversification of financial products and delivery channels, it is imperative that financial institutions are equipped with the skills to grow sustainably. This program enables IFC to leverage its experience in investment and private sector development with Boulder's distinguished history of educating world leaders in microfinance."
Robert Christen, President at the Boulder Institute added "At the Boulder Institute of Microfinance we see this program as one of a series of new offerings designed to keep microfinance institutions competitive and capable of delivering on their social mission in an ever-changing world. We hope that through our programs financial service providers can confront strategic risks through innovation that serves clients more completely in a next generation of products and channels."
The week long training and discussions are designed to provide microfinance CEOs and senior management with the knowledge and tools to address major risk trends facing MFIs globally, including increased competition, rising delinquency, and an increasingly volatile macroeconomic environment. The program is an example of the kind of industry transformation envisaged under the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Boulder Institute of Microfinance and IFC in April 2016.
Since pioneering commercial microfinance in the early 1990s, IFC has continued to lead innovation in microfinance, using developments in technology, financial products, and policy to help financial institutions reach a greater number of people in a more cost-effective way. As of June 30, 2016, IFC had over $5 billion in cumulative committed investments in more than 128 MFI partners across 56 countries. In 2015, IFC clients provided 51.2 million microloans worth $59.5 billion.