Midi en ligne

52o. Midi de la microfinance

COVID-19 surveys:

Better understanding the impact on MFIs and their clients to better act  


This webinar took place on Wednesday 9 June 2021, on Zoom with translation from French to English. 

In 2020, ADA developed a response program to help the sector overcome the crisis related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 80 organizations, including 72 MFIs, 5 incubators and 3 networks, received grants to finance the purchase of health and IT equipment and technical assistance to ensure business continuity. 

To better understand the impact of the pandemic on MFIs and their clients, ADA, in association with the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation and Inpulse, launched waves of surveys to monitor and analyze the effects of the crisis among its partners in the field. In total, 4 waves of surveys were conducted in 2020 and 2 in 2021, with the information collected from 70 to 110 MFIs depending on the wave. Among the results highlighted, the least impacted MFIs have a significant agricultural and rural portfolio. On the other hand, the surveys also revealed a strong need to restart activities to enable clients to borrow again. To understand the reasons why clients were not repaying and to better manage their risks, MFIs re-emphasized on the importance of the "client-centric approach": the client must be at the heart of their decision-making.  

ADA, in collaboration with SPTF, focused on beneficiaries by helping to collect information from clients of surveyed MFIs. These MFIs were supported to conduct the client survey through an external entity or directly through loan officers.  

Among the results for all countries, 90% of the clients surveyed said that the crisis had a strong or very strong impact on their financial resources. But have the results of these surveys allowed MFIs and investors to review or readjust their strategy? if so, in what way? 

More than a year after the first survey, ADA invited its partners to the Midi de la Microfinance en ligne to share the lessons learned from the results collected from clients and MFIs. The webinar was a great opportunity to listen to the experience of Jacques Afetor, Director of Assilassimé, a MFI based in Togo, who participated in this initiative, and Eric Campos, Managing Director, Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation & Corporate Social Responsibility Director, Crédit Agricole S.A., with the moderation of Laura Foschi, Executive Director of ADA. Bruno Dunkel, Chairman of Inpulse, shared the closing remarks with the audience.

Panelistas del Midi

Laura Foschi, Executive Director, ADA Luxembourg

laura foschi Laura Foschi is currently Executive Director at ADA. She is also Senior Investment Manager and responsible for all investment services to Luxembourg Microfinance Development Fund (LMDF). Prior to this position, she has been Deputy Director at ADA for 3 years, and the general director of the microfinance investment vehicle Consorzio Etimos for 5 years. She has also coordinated and delivered training and technical assistance in microfinance programmes during more than 10 years in Latina America, Africa and Balkans.

She has been member of the board of directors of FEBEA (European Federation of Eth ical and Alternative Banks). She was lecturer at the University of Parma where she taught the Economics of Microfinance and she was also board member of the Master on Finance for Development. She additionally worked as a consultant for UN agencies such as CEPAL (Comission Economica para America Latina y Caribe) as well as European commission funded programmes.

She has written publications on social banking as well as social capital and microfinance. She speaks fluently Italian, French, English and Spanish. She is member of the Steering Committee of the Responsible Microfinance Facility and of the EIIL (European Impact Investing Luxembourg). Her main areas of interest are impact and inclusive finance, sustainable development and green economy.

She currently provides trainings and lectures on inclusive finance at University of Luxembourg, Université de Lorraine, European Microfinance Programme (Libre Université de Bruxelles), and many other training centres in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Jacques Afetor, Director of Assilassimé, Togo

Jacques AFETOR, who holds a Master's degree in MFI Management from the Catholic University of CentralJacques Afetor Africa in Yaoundé, Cameroon, has 16 years of experience in the microfinance sector and is currently Executive Director of the MFI Assilassimé Solidarité in Togo.   

Assilassimé Solidarité is an MFI promoted by the French NGO Entrepreneurs du Monde in 2012 with a mission to provide sustainable access to adapted social microfinance services for vulnerable people with limited access to traditional financial institutions to enable them to carry out income-generating activities and improve their living conditions. 

Today, Jacques AFETOR manages a team of more than 130 employees in 9 branches to serve the 70,000 beneficiaries of Assilassimé. 

Eric Campos Eric Campos, Managing Director, Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation & Corporate Social Responsibility Director, Crédit Agricole S.A. 

Eric Campos is Managing Director of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation since October 2016 and Corporate Social Responsibility Director of Crédit Agricole S.A. since June 2018. He joined the Crédit Agricole Group in 2001, where he held various responsibilities as Head of Financial Markets Division of Crédit Agricole S.A., then Deputy General Manager of Crédit Agricole Mutuel of Reunion Island, Head of development of Credit Agricole International Retail Bank and Deputy Managing Director of Crédit Agricole Sud Rhône-Alpes. He also worked as Deputy Managing Director at the Financial company for development of Reunion Island and at the French Development Agency Head of Development projects in the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions. 

Bruno Dunkel, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Inpulse Investment Manager Bruno

Bruno is Chairman of the Executive Committee of Inpulse, a Brussels based impact fund management company fully licensed as AIFM. Inpulse is specialized in the management of investment Funds related to Social and Impact Investments (social economy, microfinance, social business). Inpulse currently advises or manages 4 funds: SOFICATRA provides quasi-equity support to cooperatives in the EU; CoopEst is a debt fund dedicated to microfinance and cooperative banks in CEE; CoopMed is providing the similar support in the MENA region and recently Inpulse launched the Helenos Fund, the first equity fund for microfinance and social business sector in the EU.  All these funds are based on specific partnership agreements with private and public investors (namely the EIB Group). They all target excluded populations and social inclusion.

Bruno has 20 years of experience in SME and NBFI financing and service support at European level.  His experience is mainly focused to equity and long-term investment for cooperatives and social enterprises as well as microfinance institutions. He has extensive and successful track record of investments across a broad range of sectors and regions through the funds managed by Inpulse.

Los "Midis de la microfinance en ligne" son conferencias digitales que permiten sensibilizar al público luxemburgués e internacional sobre un determinado tema en materia de inclusión financiera.

Este 52º "Midi de la microfinance en ligne" está organizado con el apoyo de la Dirección de Cooperación y Acción Humanitaria de Luxemburgo y de la red InFiNe.lu.

Desde 2006, nuestra organización asociada BRS organiza los almuerzos de trabajo sobre microfinanzas  (Microfinance Lunchbreak) en Bruselas. Hasta ahora se han organizado unas 20 sesiones. Para más información: www.microfinancelunchbreak.be 

logos sponsors