Microfinance and Financial Inclusion Crash Course

Do you want to learn the skills of a Microfinance practitioner in 5 weeks? Join our interactive crash course today! All candidates who complete this course will be eligible to become pod leaders for our Microfinance Initiative starting in Lent term!

Every Monday and Thursday starting from 9 November 2015 to 10 December 2015, Mr Sadrudin Akbarali FCA; CTA will be talking you through some key aspects of Microfinance and how these skills can be put into practice. Mr Akbarali is formerly Senior Programme Manager for Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance with over 30 years experience in developing, supervising and advising enterprise development, microfinance and  other financial institution.

Register your interest now by emailing us on lsesu.soc.microfinance@gmail.com with your contact details, course, year of study and a brief description why you want to do the course (100 words) before 7 November 2015

Course fee: £20 but only £15 if you pay before 31 October 2015!

Course Content

  1. Understanding Microfinance and Financial Inclusion: This introductory session takes a historical perspective and examines the various approaches taken by commercial banks, non-governmental organisations, credit unions, governments and microfinance institutions. It will define the concept of Microfinance and Financial Inclusion, the paradigm shift and the evolution to sustainable entities and social enterprises.
  2. Importance of Financial Statements: Micro-enterprises and Microfinance institutions deal with specific financial statements. In non-accounting and simple language, this session will enhance understanding of profit/loss accounts and balance sheets, and explore ways to read and construct simplistic financial statements.
  3. Building blocks for starting Microfinance programmes: From the initial stages of research, this session will provide insights into starting Microfinance programmes: mission setting, planning and designing, implementation and evaluation.
  4. Measuring Performance: Touching on the financial structures and outreach indicators, this session will teach you how to evaluate and measure the overall financial performance of microfinance programmes for financial inclusion. It draws on key concepts of revenue, expenditure, efficiency, productivity, risk and liquidity – and challenges you to delve into the technical aspects of Microfinance.
  5. Savings, micro-insurance and other financial products: To achieve greater financial inclusion, microfinance institutions need to go beyond micro-credit. Here, we will discuss the evolution to fully-fledged financial institutions providing savings, micro-insurance, remittances and other financial products.
  6. Sustainability and Profitability: Should the aim of microfinance and financial inclusion be purely poverty alleviation or should they be sustainable and profitable? This session deals with the issue of how to fund these institutions and engages you in a discussion of the real challenges that microfinance institutions face.
  7. Social Performance and Impact: How can microfinance institutions achieve social goals that go beyond financial inclusion? The session will discuss the need for entwined processes required to attain social aims and possible ways to measure impact.
  8. Case study: Microfinance and financial inclusion manifest themselves in different ways in different contexts, be they in Asia, Africa, Latin America, USA or Europe. In this session, we will investigate a case study from a specific country, taking into account the environment, culture and socio-economic background and other challenges. The depth of this practical case study will provide you food for thought on your course essays
  9. Regulations and Supervision: Can microfinance institutions remain unregulated and unsupervised? How does this affect their clients and their ability to achieve greater financial inclusion? The session will present the case for an appropriate regulatory and supervisory system for microfinance and financial inclusion
  10. The Way Forward: In the past 40 years, microfinance institutions have evolved significantly. What are the key challenges for them to achieve greater financial inclusion? What are the opportunities and possible ways forward? The session will debate and discuss the most plausible scenarios for a better future.