Microfinance Focus Europe, 25 June 2013: The opening ceremony of the 10th European Microfinance Network Conference was led by Fasiel Rahman, President of EMN, who introduced the theme of the conference, “Innovative Pathways for European Microfinance” to an audience of over 300 attendees.
"There is a need to make microfinance potentially innovative, and the key question is to know how to do it better," Rahman told the audience. He also explained that knowing how best to help your clients, countries and finance organizations is crucial in the advancement of the European microfinance sector. He added, "between networking and not working there is only one letter that makes the difference, and we are here for the first one.€¯
EMN supporters and partners also presented at the opening plenary session. Young entrepreneurs from The Network for Entrepreneurs from Ethnic Minorities (NEEM), the partner organization of the conference, surprised the public with a dancing show.
VINNOVA, Sweden´s Innovation Agency, presented its strategies for innovation, growth and networking policies. The group explained why networking is primary focus during the opening ceremony. "Networking is very important, and is people who make the difference.€¯ Also, they added that the more concise and specific the strategy, the better. And, as the OECD showed "Innovation drives growth and helps address social challenges€¯.
Finally, Maria Nowak, founder President ADIE international, summarized the importance of having a united European vision. She said, "We need to have some principles and apply them.€¯ Nowak emphasized a positive vision, the need for partners (banks who provide credit) and reforms to current laws and framework regulations. In summary, she said that the main issued that need to be address are how to create sustainability and how to make the process of taking out a loan easier for people who do not have access to credits.