Since the global financial crisis, alternative finance, which includes financial instruments and distributive channels that emerge outside of the traditional financial system, has thrived in the US, Europe and Asia. From equity-based crowdfunding to marketplace/peer-to-peer consumer and business lending, from invoice trading to reward-based crowdfunding, these alternative finance activities are supplying credit to small businesses, providing venture capital to start-ups, offering more diverse and transparent ways for consumers to invest or borrow money, nurturing creativity, fostering innovation, generating jobs and funding worthwhile social causes. The rise of disruptive technology and microfinance is helping many alternative finance institutions challenge the current financial landscape.
However, questions arise to what extent further development of the sector is desired and what are the risks associated with such growth dynamics. The issue of regulatory under-reach or over-reach comes to the fore of the policy debates. In this respect, the EU countries have adopted various regulatory regimes that either enable, restrict or are neutral as far as alternative finance institutions are concerned.
Note: You can also sing up for a special edition of Fintech Open Mic Night. The meeting will take place on October 4th at 18:00 and will focus on the latest trends in credit scoring. For more Fintech Open Mic Night details and registration click the LEARN MORE button below.
Dimitrios Niafas holds an MBA degree in Finance and Investments and has more than 15 years of experience in the management of EU co-financed projects and implementation of financial instruments. Currently, is engaged in the management and implementation of the Progress Microfinance and the EaSI financial instruments.
A global thought leader, disruptor and innovator with an entrepreneurial flair, Kaiser works as an international development banker and has conceptualized and developed new institutions and business models in challenging environments. Core competencies include New Ventures, MSME Banking, Project Financing, Team Building, Change Management, Business Development and Good Governance. Kaiser is a strategic thinker with strong ethical standards and focus on results. With exceptional business acumen and broad experience on a global stage he has served on the BODs of several international companies and provided strategic advice to senior management and business owners. With an MBA in Finance from the Asian Institute of Management in Manila, an MS in Metallurgical Engineering from Moscow Institute of Steel & Alloys, a certification on „Strategy in the Age of Digital Disruption” from INSEAD, and over 36 years of international experience in development banking and finance, Kaiser has developed a network of diverse professionals in every corner of the globe whom he leverages to make sure that the UN Sustainable Development Goals are at the center of all business decisions.
Visiting Professor of Economics at Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, Croatia, and Adjunct Professor of Development Studies at St Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada.
Dr Bateman obtained his PhD from the University of Bradford (UK) in 1993. From 1991 to 2000 Dr Bateman held a tenured position as Assistant then Associate Professor in East European Economics at the University of Wolverhampton. In 2000 Dr Bateman moved into policy consulting to head up the Western Balkans economic development consulting practice for one of the UK’s leading consulting companies, thereafter taking the lead on local economic development assignments in Eastern Europe. As a freelance consultant since 2006 he has worked on local economic development projects for almost all of the major international development agencies, most recently undertaking a number of assignments for UNCTAD, and including work in the Middle East, China, Africa and much of Latin America. Dr Bateman has published widely on the key issues affecting local economic development, including the influential ‘Why Doesn’t Microfinance Work? The Destructive Rise of Local Neoliberalism’ published by Zed Books in 2010. His most recent output published in 2017 by the University of New Mexico Press and the School for Advanced Studies Press is an edited book with Dr Kate Maclean entitled ‘Seduced and Betrayed: Exposing the Contemporary Microfinance Phenomenon.’
Oliver co-initiated ECN in 2012 and went on to establish ECN as an international NGO in 2013 as Founding Executive Director and Chairman. The past decade, Oliver has worked with venture capital, microfinance, technology and social entrepreneurship in both commercial and non-profit settings in Europe and the USA. Oliver is an Advisory Board Member at Förderkreis Gründungs-Forschung e.V. (FGF) and a member of the Future Media Minds at the FutureMediaLab. A former journalist, he started his career in the early 1990s in the publishing and business information industries. Oliver holds Masters degrees from Solvay Business School and from the University of Hamburg and studied at SEESS (UCL) in London.
Grzegorz Galusek is a microfinance specialist with significant field experience gained at Fundusz Mikro, a microfinance institution based in Poland. As director of the MFC he has designed regional and country specific access to finance programs which address the needs for financial and non-financial services among low-income people and micro-entrepreneurs in Europe and Asia. Grzegorz has initiated a regional, financial inclusion policy program with a broad goal of fostering creation of a favorable legal and regulatory framework for access to financial services for low-income people and micro-entrepreneurs. From 2005 – 2008 Grzegorz served on the UN Advisory Group on Inclusive Financial Sectors, while until 2015 he was a member of the Steering Committee of the SMART Campaign – a global microfinance industry initiative concerned with the protection of microfinance clients.
FintechTrends is a hub integrating fintech community in Poland: entrepreneurs, investors, influencers, management consultants, programmers and lawyers. Piotr’s background is in equities, fixed income and commodities trading, proprietary investment and advisory services.
Janis is Head of Loan Originators at Mintos, a marketplace for loans where investors go invest in loans originated by alternative lending companies around the world. Mintos provides access to flexible and scalable funding for alternative lending companies. Janis has 10 years of experience in financial services industry at leading private equity and asset management companies in the Baltics.
A mathematician and financer by training, his professional experience combines banking in project and leverage finance, two creations of companies – of which one social enterprise – and working for an NGO where he launched and led a team investing worldwide in MFIs. This vast experience acquired in a variety of situations concretized in the microfinance field where Samuel found his professional passion and is active since 2006. He now concentrates at EIF on the structuring of guarantees and funding transaction to foster the microfinance and social enterprises sector in Europe in the view to help creating more opportunities for vulnerable people and foster job creation in the continent. Samuel also represents EIF in a series of Board of Directors of MFIs and Funds and is a regular speaker on the microfinance and inclusive finance topic in a leading French business school.
The Microfinance Centre (MFC) foundation is a global network of 106 microfinance institutions from Europe and Central Asia.
MFC supports its members in their operations by organising training programs, conferences (annual conferences are the region’s largest event of this type), supporting exchange of experience, arranging studio visits, conducting research etc.
Our mission is to contribute to poverty reduction and human potential development by promoting a socially-oriented and sustainable microfinance sector that provides adequate financial and non-financial services to a large number of poor families and micro-entrepreneurs.
MFC’s work is organized under five key pillars:
Responsible Finance: advancing responsible finance practice among MFC members
Access to finance: building government capacity to develop evidence-based access to finance policies
EU presence: advancing access to finance in the EU in cooperation with the European Commission
Social Innovation Lab: testing new approaches to asset –building and financial education for low-income people
Income generation: increasing income from our services
For more information visit: www.mfc.org.pl
The EIB Institute was set up within the EIB Group (European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund) to promote initiatives
for the common good in Europe mostly in EU Member States. This includes reducing inequalities, enhancing knowledge, innovation and competitiveness and ensuring cohesion throughout Europe.
The Institute complements the microfinance operational activities of the EIB group by promoting knowledge creation and dissemination through financing of research, organisation of conferences, supporting capstone projects, enabling the development of microfinance in Europe and beyond. Other activities of the institute include notably support to social innovation and entrepreneurs who target social, ethical or environmental goals or seek to create and sustain social value. To find out more about us go to https://institute.eib.org or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
The European Microfinance Network’s (EMN) mission is to build up universal and open access to appropriate financial
and complementary support services suited to society’s needs at affordable prices allowing people to deploy their talents in order to create wealth and value while having a positive social impact. EMN is empowering its members to become acknowledged actors and partners in the financial sector that reach out to a large number of enterprising people who, in turn, create jobs and contribute to sustainable growth. EMN primarily focusses its activities in European Union and EFTA/EEA member states.
The European Union is made up of 28 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know how
resources and destinies. Together, during a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.
Communication Partner of Alternative Finance Forum. Attention Marketing is the art of attention management.
It is the way of thinking about strategic management, sales, marketing and PR as a space where we compete for the attention of Clients, Employees and the surrounding business environment.
Attention Marketing means business advisory which improves key sales figures and company image perception. We build communication strategies grounded on positive narratives, strongly relying on pro-sales actions which result from those strategies. We understand our Client’s business – Client’s goals, needs and problems. We skilfully combine our knowledge of management, HR, R&D, sales, marketing, PR and IT with practical experience of running strategic projects