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Thematic Area:

Financial Inclusion & Social Entrepreneurship

Duration:            

2022 – ongoing

Client:                

European Investment Bank

Region:             

Europe

Country Coverage:           

27 EU Member States

About SIFTA

Market Development and Capacity building for European Microfinance and Social Enterprise Finance Sectors

The European Investment Bank (EIB) under the InvestEU Advisory Hub reinforces the European Microfinance and Social Enterprise Finance sectors through market development activities, capacity-building services as well as rating, assessment and evaluation services. This is done through the Social Inclusive Finance Technical Assistance (SIFTA) project that has been implemented since July 2022. The technical assistance team responsible for market development activities and capacity building services, consists of a consortium led by the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and its partners, the Microfinance Centre and the European Microfinance Network

Partner logos

How We Do It

SIFTA provides support to microfinance and social enterprise finance providers through tailored training, workshops and webinars, peer-to-peer exchanges, and study visits on a wide range of topics related to financing micro and social enterprises. The project also delivers rating, assessment and evaluation services provided by MFR.

"An essential aspect of our strategy consists in a systematic understanding of trends and interaction with the European Microfinance and Social Enterprise Finance providers to, whenever possible, reorient our activities to match their needs." - Silke Müffelmann, SIFTA Team Leader

What We Bring Together

This new initiative arrives to bring continuity to the EaSI TA Programme in a much more challenging international scenario. Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and its partners bring together the good practices and lessons learned from the successful results achieved in the framework of the EaSI TA Programme implementation, with a flexible approach that provides tailored support to the European Microfinance and Social Enterprise Finance providers.

"Within the SIFTA Project, we orient our efforts to cover the whole European microfinance and social enterprise finance ecosystems. To do so, we develop strategic partnerships, to reach those providers that do not have access yet to supporting instruments such as SIFTA." - Sheryl Loh, Senior Project Manager, Frankfurt School

In the last two predecessor initiatives from 2015 - 2021 namely the EIB Joint Action to Support Microfinance Institutions in Europe (JASMINE) pilot project and EaSI Technical Assistance, we have amongst others provided trainings to more than 130 microfinance providers and organised events that reached out to almost 6,800 participants in the EU.

News and Events

SIFTA Project News

If you are a target beneficiary and would like to apply for specific SIFTA services, please send an email to sifta@eib.org 

2022

8 November 2022

9 November 2022 (Social Finance Vibe 2022)

10 November 2022 (Social Finance Vibe 2022)

15 November 2022

16 November 2022, 15:30 - 16:30 CET (European Microfinance Week 2022) 

23 November 2022

  • Social and inclusive entrepreneurship development

24 November 2022

  • The contribution of loan funds to the development of the Polish microfinance market and current challenges facing institutions supporting the SME sector

29 November 2022, 11:00 - 12:00 CET

01 December 2022, 11:00 - 12:00 CET

05 December 2022, 09:30 – 14:00 CET

  • Inclusive Finance, Social Economy and territory (Italian language)

08 December 2022, 08:00 – 15:00 CET

  • Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) best practices (Romanian language)

08 December, 11:00 - 13:00 CET

12 December 2022, 09:00 – 13:00 CET

  • Responsible Microfinance: ESG and Impact Investing

15 December 2022, 09:00 – 13:00 CET

  • Demand generation approaches in digital marketing for MFIs

15 December 2022, 11:00 – 13:00 CET

20 December 2022, 08:00 – 15:00 CET

  • Evaluation and reporting of the social and economic inclusion of microcredit beneficiaries (Romanian language)

January - June 2023

30 March 2023, 10:00 - 12:00 CET

- Doing advocacy - how to negotiate effectively (Polish language)

2 April 2023, 10:00 - 12:00 CET

- Impact management and measurement (IMM) & the SDGs for microfinance institutions in the European Union

13 April 2023, 09:00 - 15:00 CET

- Evaluation of loan collateral (Polish language)

19 April 2023, 08:00 - 17:00 CET

- Team management and task delegation (Polish language)

10 May 2023, 10:00 - 12:00 CET

- MFI good practice in financing social economy: EU case studies (Polish language)

11 May 2023, 11:00 - 13:00 CET

- Risk management framework applied to inflation, energy prices and interest rate risk

30 May 2023, 11:00 – 13:00 CET

- Financial planning, modelling and stress test

How much stress can you absorb as an institution? What is the impact of energy prices on your business model? In this webinar you will have the opportunity to advance your knowledge of risk management for microfinance providers and learn about financial planning, modelling, and different stress test instruments in risk management.

07 June 2023, 11:00 - 13:00 CET

- MFI good practice in financing social economy: Romanian and Polish cases

The webinar will inspire microfinance providers to diversify their products and services, with an offer to social enterprises. It will provide opportunity to learn from two organizations, TISE from Poland and AFIN from Romania, about their experience supporting the development of the social enterprises in their countries, regulatory environment, characteristics of business model, available financial instruments for the sector, identifying the leading factors to succeed, sharing, and exchanging on challenges and barriers, and indicating way forward. 

08 June 2023, 09:00 – 11:00 CET

- Digital Marketing Strategy Approach in the Microfinance and Social Enterprise finance sector (Digital Marketing Webinar series 1/4)

How can a well-defined marketing strategy enhance your operations?  How can digital marketing be integrated within your organization’s marketing strategy?  Join us to learn more about Digital Marketing Tactics & how to transition from Strategy to Planning in digital communications in this first webinar of the SIFTA Digital Marketing Series for Microfinance and Social Enterprise Finance Providers.

19 June 2023, 09:00 – 12:00 CET

- Train the Trainers (ToT) for Digital Learning

This hands-on online course is primarily aimed at professionals that intend to conduct or improve their online trainings. Frankfurt School master trainer Mr. Helmut Grossmann will explain and demonstrate various online training methods and tools, including session planning, ice breakers, powerful presentations, and engaging interactions with participants.

21 June 2023, 11:00 – 13:00 CET

- Leaders in sustainable agriculture

The webinar targets microfinance providers which finance the smallholder farmers and support rural communities. We will discuss approaches and examples of inclusive rural finance practices that support sustainable agriculture.

22 June 2023, 13:45 - 16:45 CET, Sofia, Bulgaria

- Enhancing the social entrepreneurship ecosystem (Bulgarian language)

29 June 2023, 09:00 – 11:00 CET

- The importance of Digital Communication Planning in an increasingly digital world (Digital Marketing Webinar series 2/4)

How can digital communication elevate your organisation’s reach, engagement and impact? What are the tools for an effective planning of digital communication activities? Join us to learn more about monitoring and managing performance of online marketing efforts in the second webinar of the Digital Marketing Series for Microfinance and Social Enterprise Finance Providers.

29 June 2023, 11:00 - 13:00 CET

- All you need to know about ESG as a new reporting standard

This webinar targets microfinance providers as well as investors, supervisory and management board members and staff from risk and compliance organizational units. The participants of the webinar will learn from CERISE+SPTF (https://cerise-sptf.org/) how the microfinance providers could approach ESG risk management using ESG tool, aimed primarily at demonstrating compliance. During the webinar Partner MKF will share their up-to-date path of ESG system implementation into their business model and will present how ESG risk is assessed with each microcredit, procurement, and assets management.

July - December 2023

11 July 2023, 10:00 - 12:30 CET

- The Green Transition in Inclusive Finance: Sustainable Finance & Energy Transition – The Opportunities and Ways Forward (Green Finance Webinar series 1/3)

Why should MFIs and SEFPs develop and follow an environmental strategy? How can MFIs and SEFPs actively participate in addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts to enhance the resilience of their institutions and clients? Join us to learn more about Green Transition in Inclusive Finance and gain insights into the opportunities and ways forward to enhance the financial and non-financial offer with a triple-bottom-line impact in this first webinar of the SIFTA Green Finance Series for Microfinance and Social Enterprise Finance Providers.

19 July 2023, Oradea, Romania (Romanian language)

Marketing: Sales Channel Management – best practice reaching targeted MFIs customers (part 1)

20 July 2023, Oradea, Romania (Romanian language)

Marketing: Sales Channel Management – best practice reaching targeted MFIs customers (part 2)

24 July 2023, 15:00 - 16:00 CET

- Sustainable integration practices for Third Country Nationals (TCNs)

Join us to discuss together the ways of sustainable integration practices for Third Country Nationals (TCNs), and to share good practices related to financial and non-financial services through multi-stakeholder approaches and conducive ecosystems. How can microfinance increase its role in this through financial and non-financial services?

31 July, 15:00 - 16:00 CET

- The Relationship Between Mental Health and Wellbeing

Mental Health and Wellbeing are often used as an overall term but they are actually two different areas which influence each other. Come and learn more about their distinct differences and how you can understand and take steps towards improving both and integrate this learnings in your daily work life.

05 September 2023, 10:00 - 12:30 CET

- Environmental Strategy Assessment and Development for MFIs and SFPS – Planning with the Latest Standard (Green Finance Webinar series 2/3)

Join the second session of the SIFTA Webinar Series on Green Microfinance to discuss methods and tools for evaluating environmental performance, and learn how to interpret results to ensure a successful implementation and establish an action plan alongside SIFTA Sustainable Finance Expert Dr.-Ing. Natalia Realpe Carrillo.

12 September 2023, 14:00 - 16:00 CET

- Sustainable finance in the EU – A Focus on how Microfinance Institutions & Social Finance Providers can approach sustainability-related risks and opportunities (ESG Webinar series 1/3)

The inaugural webinar of the SIFTA ESG Series will explore sustainability risk & opportunities for Microfinance and Social Enterprise Finance Providers. Gain in-depth insights into the latest EU regulations and frameworks driving sustainable finance practices shared by SIFTA Impact Investing & ESG Finance Expert Dina Lorentz.

14 September 2023, 08:00 – 15:00 CET, Bucharest, Romania / Hybrid

- Financial products and business development support services (BDSS) for green finance customers/beneficiaries (Romanian language)

The workshop targets Romanian MFIs and will highlight and debate case studies, along with examples of best practices in green microfinance financial products and customer support services from both Romania and Europe.

19 September 2023, 09:00 – 15:00 CET

- Economic analysis of business projects of clients (Polish language)

20 September 2023, 09:00 – 14:00 CET, Budapest, Hungary

- Presentation of the available InvestEU financial instruments and services under the InvestEU Advisory Hub (Hungarian/English language)

The workshop targets Hungarian MFIs and will cover the application process to the available InvestEU financial instruments and services under the InvestEU Advisory Hub for Microfinance organisations and SME banks.

20 September 2023, 09:00 - 11:00 CET

- Delivering marketing messages to the target audience through online advertising (Digital Marketing Webinar series 3/4)

Join the third session of the SIFTA Webinar Series on Digital Marketing to explore effective strategies for reaching your target audience and select the right messages in online advertising shared by SIFTA Digital Marketing Expert Calin Biris.

21 September 2023, 10:00 - 12:30 CET

- Design of a Green Loan: Assessment of Energy Needs and Energy Access at the Client and MSMEs Level for Market Assessment (Green Finance Webinar series 3/3)

The last session of the SIFTA Webinar Series on Green Microfinance will highlight the stages and actions in designing green products and services with a focus on understanding the needs of the clients.

28 September 2023, 11:00 - 13:00 CET

- Building teams focused on innovation

With AI revolution and digital transformation storming the enterprise world and finance segment, building the innovative potential of every organisation becomes inevitable. All organisations will have to adapt, and every leader needs to understand what it takes to prepare teams for this challenge. The webinar should be attended by all team leaders that seek tools and tips for building the best out of their teams.

3 October 2023, 11:00 - 13:00 CET

- Digital Marketing

Learn about the trends that will impact your business, driven by societal changes and new technologies, disruptive innovations like hyper-personalization, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in marketing, Generative AI, and evolving payment methods. We will also discuss the specific impact of digital transformation on Marketing, Finance, and Customer Service departments

10 October 2023, 09:00 – 15:00 CET, Bucharest, Romania / Hybrid

- Evaluation and reporting of the environmental, socio- economic and governance standards of microcredit institutions in Romania (Romanian language)

12 October 2023, 11:00 – 13:00 CET

- ESG as new reporting standard (continuation)

After the webinar “All you need to know about ESG as a new reporting standard” on June 29 2023, where tools and approaches on ESG reporting have been shared, the participants of this webinar will hear from Cerise+SPTF on how ESG reporting can be used for risk management. Concrete examples of ESG data reporting will be discussed: how the risks are assessed and can be interpreted, calculations and how to interpret and use the results, how they might impact the overall performance but also credibility of the financial service providers. We will discuss with the participants interpretation of key social indicators such as Women in Board or Gender pay gap.

17 October 2023, 09:00 – 13:00 CET

- Sales and customer contact, difficult customer, marketing, social media, needs research (Polish language)

19 October 2023

- New ways to fund social impact activities and assess impact

24 October 2023

- Customer protection and financial inclusion of vulnerable groups: the case of Spain

25 October 2023, 09:00 – 11:00 CET

- Social media best practices to build and improve online presence for MFIs (Digital Marketing Webinar series 4/4)

Learn how to choose the right social media channels and how to enhance your social media presence and engagement in this last webinar of the SIFTA Digital Marketing Series.

06 November 2023, 09-15:00 CET, Hunedoara, Romania

- Investing in the future - Financial strategies to support young entrepreneurs (European Microfinance Day)

08 November 2023, 09:00 – 15:00 CET, Athens, Greece

- Avoiding excessive regulatory burden: new Trends in microfinance Regulation (Greek language)

Exceptional professionals and policy makers are shaping an open dialogue focusing on the Code of Good Practices for microcredit and how this could be of benefit to microfinance providers especially in terms of supervision. Cases of institutional frameworks of other countries will also be a part of the discussion, aiming to excel and highlight best practices of other countries at a legislative and a supervisory level.

Additionally, a more focused discussion will follow with representatives of the Greek microfinance scene and executives from the Bank of Greece who will present the current situation. All stakeholders will have the opportunity to discuss future changes of the current framework, mainly in terms of supervision.

09 November 2023, 09:00 – 13:00 CET

- Determination of SME status (Polish language)

10 November 2023, 09:00 – 11:00 CET

- Designing an Impact Investment Strategy

We set the stage for the fundamentals of an impact investment strategy, from impact assessments to the type of investees. Then we open the floor for a candid discussion and sharing of lessons learnt and creative solutions found.

13 November 2023, 09:30 – 17:30 CET, Vienna, Austria

- Climate Finance: Implications for Ethical Banks and Social Finance Intermediaries

This event is part of a broader series that explores various aspects of  climate finance. Despite the different labels used for climate finance, they typically converge on the primary objective of minimizing greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change and enabling individuals and society as a whole to adapt to changes.

14 November 2023, 14:00 – 16:00 CET

- Approaches to Climate Governance for Microfinance and Social Enterprise finance providers (ESG Webinar series 2/3)

Join us to learn how effective climate risk governance ensures that there is understanding, oversight and accountability for financial risks arising from climate change at all levels of an institution in this second webinar of the SIFTA ESG Series.

15 November 2023, 11:00 – 13:00 CET

- Access to finance for microfinance institutions: building connections with social impact investment

16 November 2023, 09:00 – 15:00 CET, Bucharest, Romania / Hybrid

- Digitalization of the MFIs relationship with customers: online lending services and provision of BDSS (Romanian language)

21 November 2023, 13:00 – 14:30 CET

- Unlocking the EU Instruments and Programmes for microfinance and social economy: A Comprehensive Guide

This SIFTA session is part of the Social Finance Vibe 2023: Empowering the Future, MFC Virtual Conference 

22 November 2023, 10:20 – 11:00 CET

- How to Finance your Social Impact: Insights from Young Entrepreneurs and MFI Experts

This SIFTA session is part of the Social Finance Vibe 2023: Empowering the Future, MFC Virtual Conference

22 November 2023, 11:20 – 12:00 CET

- Financing for Social Enterprises: Practical Tips from the Front Lines

This SIFTA session is part of the Social Finance Vibe 2023: Empowering the Future, MFC Virtual Conference

22 November 2023, 12:20 – 13:00 CET

- Empowering Entrepreneurs through Skills

This SIFTA session is part of the Social Finance Vibe 2023: Empowering the Future, MFC Virtual Conference

24 November 2023, 09:00 - 15:00 CET, Tricase, Italy

- Over-indebtedness - how microcredit can help (European Microfinance Day Campaign, Italian language)

4 December 2023, 14:00 - 16:00 CET

- Partnerships between Microfinance and Fintech (webinar series 1/2)

During the first session we will explore the basic principles of Fintechs. First, we will dive into their operating model, based on data and costs. Then, we will discuss which are the interesting models where microfinance and fintechs overlap, to conclude on the trade-offs of this overlap.

5 December 2023, 14:00 – 16:00 CET

- ESG and Social Impact related approaches for Microfinance and Social Enterprise finance providers (ESG Webinar series 3/3)

Deep dive into how impact translates in monitoring and evaluation processes for Microfinance and Social Enterprise Finance Providers in the third and last webinar of the SIFTA ESG Series.

07 December 2023, 09:00 – 11:00 CET

- Incorporating Impact into your Deal

We reflect on best practices on how to introduce impact-linked incentives into your deals, to align between investor and investee and reward ventures that deliver more impact. Then we open the floor for sharing experiences, everything from term sheets to tailored investives.

12 December 2023, 11:00 – 13:00 CET

- Risk management (Romanian language)

13 December 2023, 10:00 - 12:00 CET

- Gender Mainstreaming to drive change in the post-pandemic world

The webinar aims to provide Microfinance and Social Enterprise Finance Providers with an overall understanding of gender mainstreaming in internal and external operations, particularly considering the emerging challenges and opportunities for women’s access to finance and resources in the post-pandemic world. By exploring international best practices, we will discuss the essentials of universal and sustainable financial inclusion and the pivotal role that Microfinance and Social Enterprise Finance Providers can play in the path through tailored financial and non-financial services for women and other sensitive groups, as well as robust sex-disaggregated data. Lastly, we will take gender as an intersectional topic and review how gender mainstreaming could be integrated in rural, MSME, and climate financing practices. 

14 December 2023, 14:00 - 16:00 CET

- Partnerships between Microfinance and Fintech (webinar series 2/2)

During the second session, we will deep dive on more advanced fintech solutions, such as Blockchain and impact tokens, impact data infrastructure and impact fintechs.

18 December 2023, 14:00 - 16:00 CET

- Empowering Female Migrant Founders: Impact-Oriented Organic Growth

This workshop explores how female migrants achieve organic growth and bootstrap their ventures, emphasizing impact-oriented approaches to success, fostering a supportive environment for sustainable businesses.

February 2024

6 February 2024, 09:30 - 17:00 CET, Vienna, Austria

- Supporting the development of Social Housing as Ethical Banks or Social Finance Intermediaries: challenges and best practices in Central and Eastern European Region

This workshop will focus on the financing of quality and affordable social housing, from very social aimed at particularly challenged communities, to social housing for low income households, highlighting challenges and best practices in the CEE region.

March 2024

21 March 2024, 09:00 - 15:00 CET

- Artificial Intelligence in Sales and Marketing Processes

22 March 2024, 14:00 - 16:00 CET

- Impact Measurement and Management (webinar series 1/2)

April 2024

8 April 2024, 11:00 - 13:30 CET

- Impact - Developing an Impact framework that includes key Impact Performance Indicators

10 April 2024, 10:00 - 12:00 CET

- User experience (Digital Marketing webinar series 1/4)

12 April 2024, 14:00 - 16:00 CET

- Catalytic Capital Structure

16 April 2024, 11:00 - 13:00 CET

- How to give employees constructive feedback

22 April 2024, 11:00 - 13:00 CET

- How to analyse social enterprises

23 April 2024, 14:00 - 16:00 CET

- Positive Impact Metrics in ESG (ESG webinar series 1/3)

25 April 2024, 11:00 - 13:00 CET

- AI powered solutions for Social Enterprise Finance Providers

26 April 2024, 14:00 - 16:00 CET

- Green transition – the role of financial services providers

29 April 2024, 14:00 - 16:00 CET

- Better Entrepreneurship Policy Tool (BEPT)

May 2024

2 May 2024, 14:00 - 16:00 CET

- Social Taxonomy

7 May 2024, 09:00 - 11:00 CET

- Social Finance Space - Funding options for Impact

8 May 2024, 10:00 - 12:00 CET

- Use of AI in Digital Marketing (Digital Marketing webinar series 2/4)

14 May 2024, 09:00 - 13:00 CET

- MFC Pre Annual Conference event: How to benefit from AI in microfinance

14 May 2024, 11:00 - 13:30 CET

- Impact - Developing an Impact framework that includes key Impact Performance Indicators

16 May 2024, 09:00 - 13:00 CET

- MFC Post Annual Conference event: Key trends and developments in inclusive finance

21 May 2024, 14:00 - 16:00 CET

- Outcome-based contracting

30 May 2024, 14:00 - 16:00 CET

- Migrant Entrepreneurship with focus on women (webinar series 1/2)

31 May 2024, 10:00 - 13:00 CET, Rome, Italy

- EU instruments and programmes for Microfinance and Social Economy

June 2024

3 June 2024, 14:00 - 16:00 CET

- Valuation of Social Enterprises

Join us for this webinar to discuss how investment decisions usually depend on the accurate valuation of underlying cash flows, like operating profits, rental income or license fees. For financial service providers engaging in equity investments, a precise understanding of an asset's value is essential to maintain the viability of their organisation.

10 June 2024, 11:00 - 13:30 CET

- Impact measurement, reporting and accounting for CO2 emissions

This webinar aims to empower ethical finance organizations with tools and methodologies to measure CO2 emissions, featuring expert insights and real-world examples. As climate change remains a pressing global issue, with 77% of EU citizens recognizing its severity, understanding and mitigating Greenhouse Gas emissions from fossil fuels, deforestation, and agriculture is crucial. This training will help you navigate regulatory requirements, enhance accountability, and contribute to a sustainable future.

13 June 2024, 14:00 - 16:00 CET; registration link will follow

- Value Chain Approaches in the Sustainability Financing Framework (ESG webinar series 2/3)

14 June 2024, 14:00 - 16:00 CET

- Green Microfinance

In this webinar we will discuss how MFIs can enhance their market differentiation and operational resilience. However, issues remain such as a weak client demand or client resistance which point toward the need for comprehensive support. The 2023 Microfinance Survey Report shows that 55% of all MFIs offer green microloans with a focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, mobility, and sustainable agriculture. There is still potential to develop dedicated products and expand the share of green microloans to contribute to environmental sustainability.

Declaration Form (Sanction Clause)

All participants need to confirm that they themselves as well as the institution that they represent are not the target of a sanction or restrictive measure imposed by the European Union in the terms as displayed in the following document.

Link here: Declaration Form Regarding Sanction Clause