Lead Expert

Marion Cahen

"The business sector in Flanders has a large share of SME’s but the Total Entrepreneurial Activity rate of Flanders..."

Recent Group Articles


The German Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the German Microfinance Institute (DMI) will host a two-day...


On October 6-7, 2011, COPIE members of the Thematic Working Group on Access to Finance and additional partners from...


On March 29-30, the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) hosts a two-day seminar in Brussels which is...

News & Events

Forum on 'Microfinance in Germany and Europe' in Berlin on June 20-21, 2012

The German Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the German Microfinance Institute (DMI) will host a two-day forum on 'Microfinance in Germany and Europe' in Berlin on June 21, 2012. As a result of a 30month project of gathering in-depth information and case studies from across Europe, the Forum will take the chance to present current European trends in microfinance to a wider public audience. It will specifically address the following three aspects:

- Trend 1: Quality - Providing security for clients and capital

Seminar on 'Better Access to Finance - Using the EU Microfinance Initiatives' on March 29-30, 2012 in Brussels

On March 29-30, the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA) hosts a two-day seminar in Brussels which is entirely dedicated to EU initiatives in microfinance.

The seminar is designed for policy makers and practitioners in public administrations, regional authorities, microfinance institutions, financial intermediaries, NGOs and chambers of commerce interested in encouraging new businesses, stimulating economic growth increasing the supply of microcredit. It is also relevant for actors managing unemployment, empowerment and social inclusion programmes.

EMN European Microcredit Research Award - Call for Papers (Deadline 27/02/2012)

In anticipation of the 9th Annual EMN Conference to be held in Bucharest on June 7-8, 2012, the Research Working Group of EMN (coordinated by Fondazione Risorsa Donna) has announced the re-launch of the European Microcredit Research Award sponsored by Fundación Nantik Lum. This year’s award has a €1000 endowment.

Germany starts new national marketing campaign on microfinance

This month, Germany's partners of the German Microfinance Fund have launched a new national campaign on microfinance. The new website http://www.mein-mikrokredit.de/ provides information for business starters on conditions and modalities of the German microfinance scheme. In addition, it features a number of illustrative case studies from successful entrepreneurs.

Microfinance Europe Award 2012

Giordano Dell’Amore Foundation and COPIE's strategic partner European Microfinance Network are glad to announce

COPIE partners and ESF Managing Authorities from across Europe met for Technical Workshop in Brussels in Dec 2011

On December 15-16, 2011 ESF Flanders hosted a two day technical workshop in Brussels for ESF managing Authorities to provide feedback on a draft version of the ESF Manual on Access to Finance written by the German Microfinance Institute (DMI).

The aim of the Manual is to combine relevant information, considerations, experience, tools and examples relevant for the design of microfinance operations under the ESF.

New microcredit providers in Greece and Poland under EU Progress Microfinance

In January, the EU Commission has announced two new microfinance providers under the EU Progress Microfinance Facility. Pancretan Cooperative Bank Ltd in Greece and Inicjatywa Mikro in Poland join the group of institutions under the EU scheme which aims to increase access to finance for micro-entrepreneurs, including the self-employed in Europe. Progress Microfinance has a particular focus on, but is not restricted to, groups with limited access to the conventional credit market.

New JASMINE microfinance workshop on ‘Reporting Standards' on December 12, 2011

COPIE’s strategic partner in promoting access to finance, the European Microfinance Network (EMN) is pleased to announce 1 new workshop organised under the JASMINE Microfinance Development Services in December:

Reporting standards: Financial and Social Performance
Date: Monday, 12 December, 14h00 - 17h30
Place: Observatoire de la Microfinance (Banque de France), Paris
Language: English and French (no translation provided)

EU Commission published Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision

This week, the EU Commission has published a European Code of Good Conduct for microcredit provision. This Code provides recommendations and standards that should foster best practice in the microcredit sector. It is intended to provide guidance for microcredit providers from the point of view of consumers, investors, funders and regulators. More information can be found in our Policy Debate section.

New EMN JASMINE workshops in October 2011

COPIE's strategic partner, the European Microfinance Network (EMN), has announced 2 new workshops organised under the JASMINE Microfinance Development Services for this October:

The EC’s ‘JASMINE HelpDesk’ is up-and-running!

The European Microfinance Network has been selected to manage the EC’s ‘JASMINE HelpDesk’ online, providing answers to questions posed about microfinance.

Practical Seminar on 24th October 2011, Berlin: 'How to Establish Financial Engineering Instruments with EU Funds'

A workshop organised by the European Academy for Taxes, Economics & Law. Main topics include: EU Rules Compliance, Main Steps to Develop FEIs, National Implementation of Microcredit Funds, Practical Experiences. For more information please see here (pdf, 832 KB).

'Beyond the Banks - Lending for Growth' - July 19, 2011

Panel discussion to consider innovative ways to provide credit to small and medium-sized businesses, hosted by Sam Gymiah, NESTA and the Daily Paragraph on July 19, 2011 in London. For a short summary please see here (pdf, 156 KB).

6-7 October 2011 International Workshop on Access to Finance in Germany

On the 6th and 7th of October, the German Federal Ministery of Labour and Social Affairs will host a two day event in which its representatives will be reflecting on the function and duties of the stakeholders within the German microfinance sector with the thematic group partners and other interested representatives from the European context.

Please find the presentations from this event here.

12-13 May 2011 International Workshop on Access to Finance in Flanders

On the 12th and 13th of May ESF Flanders invited its partners, regional stakeholders and representatives of the Italian steering committee on microfinance to reflect on microfinance in Flanders. During this event participants exchanged ideas and commented on different instruments such as the 'solidarity loan', social loans and also on the importance of access to finance in business support services.

Please find the presentations of this event here (zip, 3,6 MB).

19-20 January 2011 International Workshop on Access to Finance in Lithuania

During the first meeting of the Access to Finance thematic group which is led by ESF Flanders and ESF Czech Republic, Lithuania as one of the partners hosted in Vilnius an interactive event in Vilnius in which they presented their newly introduced financial engineering measure 'Entrepreneurship Promotion'. This measure served as a background for an interesting review on the state of affairs of access to finance in Lithuania.

Please find the presentations of this event here (zip, 3,9 MB).