fi-compass EaSI TA workshop at the Regional Forum ‘Financial Inclusion through Microfinance’ in Skopje, FYROM, 22-23 September 2016


Picture: Jorge Ramirez Puerto, General Manager, European Microfinance Network (EMN) and event participants

A fi-compass EaSI TA workshop was organised as part of the Alliance of Microfinance Organisations' first Regional Microfinance Forum in Skopje, FYROM, on 22-23 September 2016. More than 70 participants (mostly from FYROM and other Balkan states) took part in the event which included information about the EU Instruments and the Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision in Europe.

This helped to raise awareness among the attending MCPs about opportunities from EU support and related eligibility criteria. Simone Uccheddu from the European Investment Fund presented the EaSI programme's financial instruments and Jorge Ramirez from the European Microfinance Network discussed in more detail the EaSI TA services, including the application process. Adisa Mujkic, Assistant director for Quality at the Partner Microcredit Foundation noted that: “The information presented during this session was easy to understand and it helped to provide participants with the knowledge they need to make decisions about funding applications."

Picture: Nicola Benaglio, Policy and Research Officer, EMN and Simone Uccheddu, Investment Manager Guarantees/Microfinance, EIF

FYROM's four main MCPs were actively involved in discussions regarding the process of gaining access to the EaSI programme tools. FYROM is an eligible country for EaSI but the microfinance sector has no experience in the application and management of EU funds so most of the questions were about the practicalities for a microfinance institution to apply and manage these EU tools. Giulia Boioli shared good practice from the Italian MCP PerMicro during a presentation dedicated to the application and use of EaSI tools. She told the fi-compass audience that: “Each EaSI tool we have applied for has been worth all the work invested in it”. This prompted the four main Macedonian MCPs to suggest an exchange visit to PerMicro in order to learn more about how the Italian MCP deals with EaSI and the outcomes from its experience.

Picture: Event participant

The second main topic of the EaSI TA Workshop centred on the EU Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision in Europe. Katarzyna Pawlak, EaSI TA Non-Key Expert, presented her experiences with implementing the Code, the related application process and accreditation criteria. She emphasised that: “The Code is very useful for helping MCPs to improve their internal management and increase their institutional capacity."

Further information about the Forum and the different workshop sessions can be found at the website of the local organiser.