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International expertise for banks and microfinance institutions

We see the strengthening of the financial sector as a key factor in promoting economic prosperity in developing economies. In addition, we believe that financial and social inclusion can bring stability to emerging markets, as well as to some regions of the European continent.

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We believe in supporting the development of a microfinance industry and working with all types of financial institution that aim to provide affordable financial services to meet the varied needs of micro-enterprises and economically disadvantaged groups.

Our experience has shown that capacity building and disseminating best practice are the two levers that can help financial institutions to innovate, adapt, and scale financial services to add real value to their customers.

Our four core areas of expertise within the Microbanking Competence Centre

Our four core areas of expertise within the Microbanking Competence Centre

Institutional Strengthening

The Microbanking Competence Centre facilitates financial institutions in providing fully-fledged financial services (loan, deposit, insurance services and/or mobile payments) to their clients.


We also assist banking institutions in downscaling - establishing microfinance business units, in order to support them in servicing microenterprises and low-income clients with a large array of tailor-made financial products.


The Microbanking Competence Centre fosters institutional transformation of various kinds by supporting microfinance organizations on different levels in their organisational upscaling.


We develop and implement innovative microfinance products and delivery channels in the field of credit and savings. In addition, we support with the improvement of product development processes, product costing techniques and credit scoring.

Training services

Providing training courses on a large range of topics is another crucial part of our services. Classroom and on-the-job training, as well as coaching are the most important training methods applied by the Microbanking Competence Centre.

For several years, we offer microfinance topics within our Summer Academies and within our e-campus platform (Certified Expert in Microfinance, Certified Expert in Islamic Microfinance). The Frankfurt School Development Finance e-Campus has become a very successful distance e-learning tool for professionals interested in microfinance topics.

Flagship Projects


Operational and Horizontal Assistance to the European Microcredit Sector in the framework of JASMINE/EaSI

During 2008-2013, the Joint Action to Support Microfinance Institutions in Europe (JASMINE) initiative was successfully implemented as a pilot project managed by the European Investment Fund and funded by the European Commission. Different operational and horizontal Technical Assistance (TA) activities were developed to support capacity building of the European microfinance sector and help align it with international standards.

Building on the success of the pilot the European Commission launched the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI), part of the 2014-2020 EU policy framework, implemented by the European Investment Bank and its fi-compass unit.

The European Investment Bank awarded the delivery of technical assistance to a consortium led by Frankfurt School (IAS) and including the European Microfinance Network and the Microfinance Centre.

The consulting provided is composed of direct TA (operational assistance) to European microcredit providers, as well as transversal activities (horizontal assistance) aimed at disseminating best practice throughout the sector.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Strengthening Middle Management Skills: Capacity Building on Leadership, Management and Supervisory Skills

The Regional MSME Investment Fund for Sub-Saharan Africa S.A., SICAV-SIF (REGMIFA) was established in May 2010 with the aim of fostering economic development and prosperity, as well as employment creation, income generation and poverty alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) through the provision of innovative financial products and technical assistance to eligible Partner Lending Institutions (PLIs) which serve micro-entrepreneurs and small and medium sized businesses (MSMEs).

The Technical Assistance Facility (TA Facility) of REGMIFA engaged Frankfurt School of Finance & Management with the overall objective of helping 38 REGMIFA PLIs to strengthen and retain middle management staff through tailored capacity building activities on soft skills, so as to ensure adequate management and oversight responsibilities. In order to achieve this objective, all training and mentoring activities were tailored and carried out in coordination with the HR department of each institution. Overall 38 institutions in SSA were be supported by these TA services.

The Project at a Glance
Duration 2014 - 2015
Client Technical Assistance Facility of REGMIFA represented by Symbiotics SA as TA Facility Manager
Country Angola, Benin, Cameroon,  Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Main objectives
  • Institutional Diagnostic of each PLI
  • Joint Training Needs Assessment survey on the level of organisation, operations and individuals
  • Development & delivery of a training plan and training materials for each PLI
  • Selection and education of the internal trainers for each PLI in addition to intensive mentoring and coaching
  • Evaluation and Impact Assessment of Trainings


Advisory Projects for IMON International, Tajikistan

Today, IMON is the biggest non-bank microfinance provider in the country serving more than 70.000 clients with a portfolio exceeding USD 100 MM (2013).

IMON was transformed into a microfinance, deposit-taking organisation in 2012. Throughout 2014 the company took steps to obtain a fully-fledged banking license and thus accomplished its projected transformation from a MDO into a commercial bank by 2015. The rapid transformation strategy is determined by the perspective to introduce new banking services and products, which will increase the scale of its operations and strengthen its position in the Tajik banking sector.

The Project at a Glance
Duration 2013 - 2015
Client IMON International
Country Tajikistan
Main objectives
  • Provide technical assistance to IMON in the review and updating of institutional strengths and weaknesses
  • Conduct a gap analysis in the context of the upcoming bank transformation
  • Develop a corporate strategy and a business plan for the next five years
  • Develop a branch network including capacity building of middle and senior management

Our Services

IMON’s Future Bank Strategy (2013 – 2014):

  • Institutional Diagnostic Report, including SW and Gap analysis;
  • Market Report: segmentation of market, quantitative / qualitative assessment of demand, supply, identification of opportunities;
  • Market and environmental assessment for new channels (regulation, competitive offer, potential demand);
  • Work plan for strengthening marketing division capacity;        
  • Training the marketing division;
  • Marketing strategy and five-year business plan, including marketing plan and financial planning.

Strengthening Business Division and Branch Network (2014 – 2015):

  • Support in implementing the new branch structure
  • Development of tailored training program for branch directors and middle managers
  • Assisting in the development of new banking services
  • Advising on the development of new MIS reporting tools for different levels based on the requirements
  • Support all activities for improving SME lending practices
  • Support the development of international banking services