Microfact aims to strengthen the performance of Microfinance and Microinsurance Institutions through the use of tools (Microfinance Tools and Microinsurance Tools) and workshops (Microfinance Workshops and Microinsurance Workshops).
Microfact welcomes Maria Silvia Abalo, RADIM Managing Director, in the dynamic pool of certified Microfact trainers, after her successful replication in Buenos Aires in April 2018.
We talked with Maria Silvia about the importance of microfinance sector in Argentina, the role of RADIM (Red Argentina de Instituciones de Microcrédito) and why Microfact tools and trainings matter so much to the local MFIs.
1. Is Microfinance necessary in Argentina?
Yes it is, because 40% of the population live and work in the informal economy and do not have access to decent financing conditions. Moreover, an important part of those 40%, lives below the poverty line. In this context, microfinance give an opportunity to the entrepreneurs within this group. In addition to providing funding, many of the microfinance institutions in Argentina provide training in entrepreneurship or trade. Others give access to health services or provide legal advice for the people without any identity documents or for immigrants. Above all, we speak about the market where financing happens in conditions of absolute transparency and with respect for the customers.
2. What is the role of RADIM (Red Argentina de Instituciones de Microcrédito) in the operation of MFIs?
RADIM works under the three main pillars:
I. Institutional strengthening
In the first and second one, we educate our members on SPI4 and as of now, MFI Factsheet of Microfact. Together with the University of Buenos Aires, we organize a four-month course on Management and Leadership in Microfinance, delivered by the highest authorities from the microfinance institutions. Its purpose is to strengthen our institutions and seed new talent for them. We carry out “Knowledge to Grow” Program” that addresses the main issues of the MFIs management (e.g. Credit Risk and Portfolio at Risk) and “Inter MFIs Program” that allows institutions to improve performance of their employees through training in other institutions. In addition, with respect to Advocacy, for 13 years already, we organize the Annual Microfinance Conference, which is the meeting point for all the stakeholders in the sector. We also carry out a monthly cycle called "Reflection Mornings" on financial inclusion with the broad participation of actors from the public and private sectors.
3. What is the added value of Microfact tools in the operation of MFIs in Argentina?
In many cases, microfinance institutions in Argentina lack instruments that allow them to analyse their financial and social performance. Microfact offers highly professional tools that allow them to do it. They serve to the management of the institution and to attract the potential funders. We believe that if all our institutions use MFI Factsheet and SPI4, it would be a great advantage in the understanding of their financial and social performance and in the homogeneity of information.
Against all the odds, an electricity blackout in town, a hot training room and no elevators, 11 MFIs participated in a Microfact training in Myanmar.
28 participants, 2 trainers, 1 interpreter and very good energy from everyone were the ingredients for this successful training. Local and international, small and big… a good mix of MFIs allowed for good interaction between participants. MFIs included BRAC, CARD, Fullerton, KB Hana, LOLC, Ngew Marlar, MFIL, NYWCA, INNO Capital, Straits and Ar Yone Or.
The room got hotter as participants debated about gender distribution of staff and management ratios during the case study exercises. Ratios interdependency was one of the key elements participants were able to practice while improving their capacity to analyse their financial and social performance.
This was the first Microfact training organized in Myanmar but definitely not the last one!
KJay zu tin bar deh and Tat Tar!
As a means to provide even better support to local trainers and enable them to offer continued support to the financial institutions, Microfact proposes the new Microfact Call for Factsheets.
Through this initiative, Microfact wants to encourage trainers to actively look for the opportunities to organize workshops and conduct follow-ups with the Microfinance and Microinsurance Institutions afterwards.
20 trainers, who have successfully organized and conducted a Microfact workshop in 2018 in line with the commitments of the Trainers Habilitation Letter and provided Microfact Coordinators with the required documents, will be rewarded with a Microfact grant.
KPIs / Microvision (MV) - Microfinance:
* MV: Peru