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The European Microfinance Network (EMN), in collaboration with its Italian partners Banca Etica, PerMicro and Ritmi, will hold its 14th Annual Conference in Venice, Italy on the 22nd & 23rd June 2017. The purpose of the event is to be a meeting of minds, ideas and experiences. About 300 delegates are expected to attend, including microfinance practitioners from all over Europe, service providers, academics and researchers who are interested in the recent developments of the sector, as well as representatives from the other interested parties including policy makers, NGOs and guarantee-granting institutions.
Attendees are invited to discuss and reflect upon the power of financial education for vulnerable populations, such as microfinance clients. Their economic fragility is linked to the perpetual imbalance between the financial offer and their actual financial needs. The asymmetry of information and the balance of power which tips in favour of the financial sector (at the cost of the citizen) hamper an effective use of financial products and services. Moreover, as time passes, we observe an even greater disparity as customers are less financially literate, while the products on offer become more sophisticated and complex.
The purpose of the 14th EMN Annual Conference is to discuss how financial education can help the microfinance sector rethink the products on offer, ensuring they have a high social impact while prioritising the clients’ needs. Stakeholders from the sector will have an opportunity to voice their different operational approaches to the topic at hand.