Menu Search

Oikocredit Live: The Evolution and Impact of Microfinance

Oikocredit Live: The Evolution and Impact of Microfinance

PROMU-ARG-49.jpg12 December | 2023

Exploring the transformative potential of inclusive finance, last month’s Oikocredit Live event brought together experts to shine light on microfinance’s nuances and its far-reaching impact.

Speaking at the event were Robert Lensink, Professor of Finance and Development at University of Groningen; Carmen Correa, CEO of the microfinance institution and Oikocredit partner Pro Mujer; and Caroline Mulwa, Oikocredit’s Director for Africa.

Professor Robert Lensink’s academic approach shed light on the vast potential and evolving perceptions of microfinance. He emphasised, "Financial inclusion has a clear focus on individuals […] ensuring all segments of the population have access to financial means," underscoring the importance of personalised financial solutions. His insights illuminated the evolution of financial inclusion, highlighting its role in empowering individuals.

Microfinance: The Journey of Optimism and Realism

Professor Lensink also discussed the evolution of microfinance, acknowledging its initial optimism and subsequent criticisms. He argued that while microfinance has not been the panacea for poverty alleviation as once hoped, it still holds significant value, especially when considering broader impacts and multifaceted financial products beyond microcredit.

Carmen Correa of Pro Mujer brought to life the stories of Latin American women, underlining the transformative power of financial services combined with other offerings. "We support women with financial education, entrepreneurial education, and health services," she shared, illustrating Pro Mujer's commitment to comprehensive empowerment.

A Holistic Approach: Beyond Financial Transactions

Delving deeper, Carmen highlighted Pro Mujer's innovative strategies, such as using technology to democratise financial access, especially in remote areas. "We provide services and tools for underserved women to reach their full potential," she explained, emphasising how microfinance can be a tool for gender equality and social change.

Caroline Mulwa provided an African perspective, discussing Oikocredit's strategic approach as well as the challenges and successes on the continent. Caroline underlined the power of partnerships in amplifying impact. "Partnerships are crucial in navigating the diverse needs and ensuring financial solutions are both relevant and accessible," she elaborated. A focus on collaboration and local engagement is a testament to Oikocredit's commitment to sustainable and community-driven development.

Charting a Course for Impactful Inclusive Finance

This webinar not only dissected the complexities of microfinance but also celebrated its successes and potential. As we navigate the evolving landscape of financial inclusion, Oikocredit remains dedicated to spearheading initiatives that foster empowerment and sustainability.

To dive deeper into these enlightening conversations, watch the full webinar recording here. Stay tuned for our upcoming events, including our next Oikocredit Live event in March 2024, as we continue our commitment to social impact through investing. Your engagement is vital in shaping a more inclusive and equitable financial future.

« Back

Get in touch

Investor Support, Oikocredit International
Berkenweg 7
3818 LA Amersfoort, The Netherlands
workT: +44 (0) 330 355 33 00

Stay informed