Training opportunities

Ethiopia Community Based Microfinance for Financial Inclusion course, March 2015

Monday, December 15, 2014

This course shifts the focus from microfinance to learning about community based approaches for delivering financial services that are inclusive. Participants will study models such as Village Savings and Loans, Self-Help-Groups, financial Cooperatives and Credit Unions and learn about innovations such as mobile banking, value-chain finance, and bank linkages.

Personal benefits

  • Understand the role of financial services in inclusive economy and the role of community-based microfinance institutions in enhancing financial inclusion and linking those institutions with formal financial institutions
  • 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
  • Learn about the regulations, structures, and practices for balancing flexibility and risk management in different community-based microfinance models
  • 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 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 analyze 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, and MFIs; for bankers interested in serving rural regions; and also for 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.

  • Podcast: Hear an audio interview with Anuj Jain,facilitator of Coady’s Community-Based Microfinance certificate course, in which he discusses the benefits of this course and who is best suited to attend it.
  • PodcastA feature interview recorded May 11, 2011 with Coady’s Anuj Jain and C.S. Reddy of APMAS, India (recorded on May 11, 2011). Where is microfinance headed in 2011 and beyond? Why the controversy over commercial microfinance? How is microfinance by member-based organizations different?


Specific scholarships are available through The MasterCard Foundation’s Microfinance Scholar’s Program. Women applicants are particularly encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

Applicants should apply as soon as possible. Applications are assessed as soon as they are received so apply early to ensure time for making travel and visa arrangements.