Microfinance in Action is by far the most inspirational programme I’ve ever done in this sector. Dr. Phyllis is such a charming and knowledgeable lady I fortunately have as a master on my way in contributing to financial inclusion in China.
The course and fieldwork in Tanzania gave me a theoretical and practical grounding in microfinance. I’m continuing to make a contribution to microfinance through being an active member of my firm’s interest group in MF and Advocates for International Development.
The Practical Microfinance Course and fieldwork in Kenya with entrepreneurs has opened a new field for me. I continue working with MWB part-time to develop courses and broaden my skills, so useful in my ‘day job’ and for when I develop MF in my home country of Syria.
We used our talent profiles to work effectively in teams, and produced a workable solution for a real issue faced with a UK based Microfinance organisation, which they are now implementing. Some of our team found the experience so worthwhile they have continued to advise and support the organisation.
I got a good background in microfinance from the course and put it into practice in fieldwork doing a needs assessment for business training for entrepreneurs. I’m still using these skills in writing articles, advising about microfinance and I keep in contact with the entrepreneurs in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya to see their progress.
I found the Microenterprise case study with a UK trade a useful application to make a difference with my skills with a Small Enterprise in the UK. We found the problems that UK enterprise owners face are similar to those in our African Microfinance project. In fact, we in the UK seem to take more risks because of available credit in comparison to the African counterparts who are paying back their loans much more responsibly. I got a greater respect for the African enterprise owners and their commitment to run their businesses responsibly.
Every session at Microfinance in Action was welcoming, clearly structured and informative. The course clarified the complex picture of Microfinance institutions for me. …I left every session with Phyllis and Gabriel buzzing, a head full of facts and ideas about microcredit, insurance and savings. During the course our team interviewed three company directors and delivered a detailed consulting report to a public audience of 50 and a panel of microfinance experts.
Microfinance has changed my life for the better. My Dad is an investor in Opportunity International, and the course helped me get to grips with the practicalities and pitfalls of microfinance and the challenges that entrepreneurs face. It made the fieldwork in Nairobi all the more rewarding as I knew the questions to ask and how to relate to the Microfinance members and to find out and help them with their businesses in the Bronze Enterprise training course.
]My experience with the Microfinance in Action course, an intensive eight-week programme is designed to give professionals an insight into modern microfinance as a tool towards working in the industry. As a final project we participants worked alongside Five Talents UK, a microfinance organisation with partners in East Africa, and gave our consultancy report to world-leading experts on microfinance. This experience has given me the confidence to develop a follow-on project with Microfinance Without Borders called Peer-to-Peer Plus. Our team is now developing a partnership with CARE International’s lendwithcare.org Peer-to-Peer lending platform, a Vietnamese Microfinance Organisation, an international students’ exchange programme and Australian sponsors. I highly recommend working with Microfinance without Borders or its sister organisation, Learning Without Borders.
I was able to combine skills from my work and MBA with the knowledge and advice from experts on the Practical MF Course to found a small Microfinance Institution in my home country of Nigeria, and able to work closely with my father, an experienced banker. The course gave me the background I needed.
Attending the course was a great opportunity to learn a lot more about the whole field of micro finance, micro savings and micro insurance – to a much greater depth than what you might be able to read about. Interacting directly with practitioners who work on the ground and hearing about the practical aspects of delivering these services in various countries was really insightful. The case study was another great opportunity to focus in one aspect of micro finance, and one which is really a current and topical issue in the sector, to become much more of an expert on it – through our own research and help from the course leaders.