Training opportunities

21- 16
Community-Based Microfinance for Financial Inclusion

Monday, March 21, 2016 to Friday, December 16, 2016

This course charts the journey from microcredit and microfinance to a more holistic financial inclusion agenda; with the focus on community owned and based microfinance models. Participants will go through in-depth study of members owned models such as Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), Self-Help-Groups (SHGs), Financial Cooperatives and Credit Unions, and the latest developments and innovations on the ground including informal savings groups linkages with Banks and MFIs, mobile banking, II tier institutions and value-chain finance.

This course is offered three times per year:
March 21 – April 1, 2016 – Addis, Ethiopia
May 9 – 27, 2016 – Coady campus, Canada
December 5 – 16, 2016 – India

Personal benefits

  • Understand the role of financial services in inclusive economy and the role of community-based microfinance institutions in the financial inclusion agenda
  • Understanding the financial behaviour of low-income population groups to learn the principles of designing more appropriate financial products, especially savings, insurance, payment services, value-chain finance, and innovative models of community-based financing
  • Obtain an in-depth understanding of different community-based microfinance models such as village savings and loan associations (or savings groups), self-help groups, SACCOs, and credit unions to learn about the ways in which different member-owned institutions apply cooperative principles to ensure the delivery of appropriate financial products, linking VSLAs and SHGs with Banks and MFIs.
  • Explore real-world examples of establishing multi-tier institutions and networks, building linkages with private sector financial institutions, use of mobile banking, and opportunities and challenges of financial products delivered by agriculture coops
  • Learn about the regulations, structures, and practices for balancing flexibility and risk management in different community-based microfinance models
  • Learn about national regulatory policies and supervision structures for community-based microfinance models, and the importance of self-regulation
  • Gain valuable hands-on knowledge through visits to successful community-based microfinance institutions, interaction with leading sector practitioners, and intensive exchange with peers

Organizational benefits

  • Develop strategies for strengthening program design, management, and product design capacities in community-based microfinance programming in remote rural areas and underserved urban communities
  • Develop strategies for banks, formal microfinance institutions, and various value-chain actors to reach informal savings groups and serve them effectively
  • Enhance capacity to analyse macro policies and identify research priorities to enable families operating in the informal sector to participate more meaningfully in the economy
  • Develop approaches to integrate community-based microfinance models into strategies for improving food security, building sustainable livelihoods, enhancing women’s empowerment, and attaining broad development outcomes

Who should take the Program?

This program is intended for mid-to-senior-level practitioners from NGOs, financial cooperatives, rural finance institutions, MFIs and bankers interested in serving rural regions; and also for banking regulators and government officials, trainers, and donors engaged in financial inclusion agenda. Two years’ work experience in microfinance or in the field of economic development is desirable.


A few partial or full scholarships are available for qualifying applicants. Women practitioners are especially encouraged to apply