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.
Entrepreneur based in London with experience in financial technology, risk, engineering. Coming from a background of living with vulnerable fishermen community in early years of his life, Srini has first hand knowledge about the issues vulnerable communities face due to lack of financial products access and protection. He is deeply passionate about financial inclusion, rural empowerment and driven by his desire to help community in need using technology. At Aire, he is responsible for setting the credit risk assessment product strategy and responsible for managing the credit references portfolio in credit markets. Srini also founded Agvesto, an agricultural insurance technology startup based in London that focusses on risk management in crop insurance products. Prior to co-founding Aire, he has worked in leading digital finance brands such as Wonga and assisted leading digital lenders in Europe.
She leads their Global Alternative Finance Benchmarking initiative. Her research interests include small business economics and SME utilization of alternative funding models to access finance. Previous to her work in alternative finance, Tania specialized in Chinese outward direct investment and is a Fulbright Scholar. Tania studied Economics and holds an MSc in China in Comparative Perspective from the London School of Economics
Next Woman provide access to capital, programs, resources and networks for female entrepreneurs and founding investor of the The Next Women Crowd Fund.
Simone is supervisory board member of The Telegraaf Media Group and board adviser with several startups (a.o. LendaHand, Storecove), with Xs4all (till 2015), Astia Accelerator (she was VP Europe), The Entrepreneur Centre at the Erasmus University (and Startup Coach) and the European Commision’s Face program supporting young entrepreneurs. She is on the investment committee of the Oxfam Novib Impact Fund, the Business Development Fund of the Erasmus University and on the Proposition Committee for SME Financing of the NLii.
She is co-founder of IENS, the largest online restaurant platform in the Netherlands (sold to Tripadvisor in 2014). Simone has an LLM from Columbia University and worked previously as attorney with Skadden, Arps and Loeff in Amsterdam and New York.
Prior to that he was Director for EIB Operations in Asia and Latin America (2004-2015), after having been Director of the Department for Planning and Settlement of Operations in the EIB’s Finance Directorate (2000-2004).
Francisco started his career at the EIB in 1987, as a loan officer for the ACP countries. In 1989, he became Manager of the EIB’s bond portfolio in the Treasury Department, after which he became Head of the Loans Back Office.
After graduating from Solvay Business School, University of Brussels, and before joining the EIB, Francisco de Paula Coelho held successively the following positions: financial analyst with Unido, assistant lecturer in economics at the University of Lisbon and consultant on investment promotion for emerging countries in New York, before joining the World Bank in Washington DC.
The Unit facilitates the development of projects and programmes between various Commission services and the International Financial Institutions, with particular emphasis on instruments for external policies. The unit also holds a coordination role for the development of EU social impact investing initiatives, in particular under the Investment Plan for Europe and contributing to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The team also facilitates the role of Directors appointed to the Board functions at the EIB and EBRD.
Prior to joining DG ECFIN she was responsible for keeping high speed and quality connectivity at the forefront of policy, regulatory and financial agendas. This involved redefining the level of policy ambition from Digital Agenda Targets to Gigabit Society, defining connectivity as the necessary condition for the success of the Digital Single Market, making modernisation of networks to high capacity the key element of the review of the Telecom Regulatory Framework, and securing EU funds (including through EFSI, Cohesion policy instruments and the CEF Broadband Fund) for economically efficient financing of broadband projects. Prior to that, she managed a team in charge of evaluation and impact assessment activities.
She joined the Commission in 2005 to assume responsibility for implementing the Risk-Sharing Finance Facility, a EUR 10 billion loan facility for highly research intensive companies, developed jointly by the Commission and the European Investment Bank. She then managed the team in charge of evaluation and impact assessment of digital activities. Prior to this, she was a Development Director at the European Foundation for Management Development in charge of project and development strategy analysis. She had worked seven years at the EBRD in London on financing operations in Central and Eastern Europe and in Central Asia.
Anna holds a Master Degree in languages and literature from the Jagiellonian University and an MBA from INSEAD.
Previously as an expert of the European Commission in the area of Microfinance, has been actively engaged in the management of the Progress Microfinance and the design of the EaSI financial instruments. Since 2015, as member of the EIB fi-compass advisory services team is responsible for the management of the EaSI Technical Assistance and the implementation of the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision.
BitPesa is licensed by the FCA in the UK as an Authorized Payment Institution and offers direct access to every major African currency at one-third the cost of bank transfers or other brokers.
Prior to joining BitPesa, David worked as the FinTech ecosystem manager of Barclays Africa based out of Nairobi, Kenya and was responsible for engaging high potential FinTech start-ups in sub-Saharan Africa with different business units to launch new digital products.
David has over 4 years of working experiences across multiple functions in CEO Office, Management Consulting, Digital Strategy & Innovation, Strategic Partnership & Business Development in Multinationals (Barclays, DHL & Google) and internet startups at seed, pre-series A and series A stages in both developed & emerging markets. He has worked and lived in Taipei, Tokyo, Bonn & Nairobi.
He loves music, traveling, playing squash & billiard, practicing yoga, exploring new technology and networking with interesting people to discover new stories in life.
Mr. Korynski is a microfinance and economic development specialist with significant field experience working in more than 20 countries. For over 10 years, Mr. Korynski led the efforts of Soros Economic Development Fund, a social investment vehicle of the Open Society Institute to develop microfinance globally. He helped to initiate and operate 10 microfinance institutions as well industry infrastructure projects such as MIX and Microfinance Management Institute. He was also involved in microfinance policy programs to create appropriate legal and regulatory framework for access to financial services for low-income people in specific countries of Eastern Europe. Mr. Korynski is a graduate of the Ohio State University and the Kellogg School of Management.
Elwin studied business administration for the financial sector in Amsterdam. After his studies he started his career in the financial sector in 1994 as a management trainee at Credit Lyonnais Bank Netherlands. After this, he spent several years within commercial banking as senior account manager. During the merger between Generale Bank and Fortis, he was staff member of the Board of Directors. After that he served in several managerial positions within the Retail Banking division of Fortis Bank as branch manager, district manager and regional director of eastern Netherlands.
In 2006 while still at Fortis Elwin initiated the project Microfinance in the Netherlands. Following this successful pilot he was involved in setting up a national microfinance program in the Netherlands commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs in The Hague. In 2009 Elwin started Qredits, the only national microfinance institution in the Netherlands. Following the success in the Netherlands branches were started in the Caribbean Netherlands on the islands of Bonaire (2015), Aruba (2016) and St. Maarten (2017).
Elwin is also actively involved in the European microfinance sector and currently serves a three-year term as president of the European Microfinance Network.
Dr. Gomez obtained her PhD with distinction with a thesis on Community and Complementary Currency Systems in Argentina. She has published and supervises doctoral candidates on monetary innovation, local economic development in Latin America, social and solidarity finance, and institutional and grassroots economics. In 2012 she established a postgraduate diploma on Sustainable Local Economic Development and in 2017 she will complete a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Local Economic Development at Erasmus University Rotterdam. She managed the establishment of a new Master in Local Development Studies at the Universidad de los Llanos in Villavicencio, Colombia. She has led development projects on Local Economic Development in Brazil, Nicaragua, Western Africa and Colombia funded by The World Bank, Woord en Daad, and other cooperation agencies, respectively. She is Chief Editor of the International Journal of Community Currency Research and Secretary of the Research Association on Monetary Innovation and Complementary Currency Systems. She has published widely on complementary currencies, monetary innovation, solidarity finance and local economic development.
Tero has more than 17 years of experience in financial and pharmaceutical industries and as a start-up entrepreneur. Tero began his career in the biotech industry, where he worked in R&D and marketing.
He moved to investment banking by joining ABN AMRO in 2000 and spent 11 years in equity brokerage business and in addition to ABN AMRO he worked as head of team at Dresden Kleinwort and Kepler Capital Markets. He spent the years 2003–2011 in London and Zürich. After moving back to Helsinki with his family in 2011, he has focused on grassroots level work with Finnish start-ups in healthcare and financial sectors.
Tero has extensive experience of equity brokerage, equity capital markets, M&A and start-up finance. Tero has a MSc in Pharmacy from University of Helsinki and an MBA from Helsinki School of Business Administration.
Tero is member of the non-Executive Board at the European Crowdfunding Network with focus on Digital Society. He previously already served as a Director of the Board from 2015-2017.
Currently he works in Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA) in the unit responsible for implementation of the Action Plan on Building a Capital Markets Union (CMU). He is directly involved in the follow up on the development of national and regional capital markets in the Union, also through technical support under the Structural Reform Support Program and the functioning of retail investment products markets.
Before, Piotr worked in a Task Force responsible for establishment of the Single Resolution Board, one of the three pillars of the Banking Union, where he was responsible for the setup of the Single Resolution Fund, a financial vehicle of expected total value of 55 billion euro.
Before moving to Brussels, Piotr had worked in financial institutions in Poland for several years advising investors on diverse banking and capital market products.
Dr. Paolo Dini (PhD Aerospace Engineering, Penn State University, 1990; BS Aeronautical Engineering, UC Davis, 1983) is an Associate Professorial Research Fellow in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science, a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire, and since August 2016 a part-time consultant for Sardex S.p.A., Italy. He taught undergraduate physics at Carleton College and St Olaf College, Minnesota, while consulting and researching in wind turbine aerodynamics, 1992-97. He then worked in system integration for a wearable computer company in the US and for Philips Research Laboratories in the UK 1997-2001. He was a research group leader at the MIT Media Lab Europe in Dublin, 2001-03. In 2003 he joined LSE and in 2012 UH. Dr. Dini is interested in studying social theory, economic theory, monetary theory, and political theory and how they apply to bottom-up socio-economic phenomena such as complementary currencies, which can be seen as „laboratories of institutional learning” and are central to sustainable development. He is also interested in the study of epistemology and interdisciplinary, in the social construction of technology, and in how all of the above relate to media in theory and in practice.
He is the director of Humanistic Management Practices, Berlin,
Germany, consulting with business leaders who are intent to base their practices on a humanistic paradigm and are emphasizing value based and ethical business practices. He supports the model and the organization of the ‘Economy for the Common Good’ and serves on the board of UnternehmensGrün, a German SME network for sustainability. Currently he holds a senior research fellowship at the Institute for Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, Germany. He has co-founded and since sold two management consulting firms, one in Berlin and one in London, were he worked with European European and US companies in leadership effectiveness and culture change programs.
Dr Korus is a founding partner of dLK Korus Okon Attorneys At Law (a law firm), and a founder and CEO of Prudentiz (a governance, risk management and compliance consulting company). He is a lawyer and economist, lecturer at the Center for Foreign Law Studies at the Jagiellonian University, member of the Polish-German Center of Banking Law at the Jagiellonian University, member of the Polish Bar, a member of the Supervisory Board at the journal “Banking Law Monitor”, the author of several dozen publications and analyses on issues of his key areas of expertise. Known as an expert in Polish and European financial markets, providers and services law with key focus on payment services, consumer finance, clearing and settlement infrastructures, e-commerce and general new technologies law (e-invoicing, e-identity, e-security), anti – money laundering, competition aspects of financial services. He advises multiple Polish and international providers of financial services and their contractors.
Dr.Krzysztof Korus is an active participant in the legislative process concerning financial markets and services including as a legal expert for Polish Organization of Non-bank Institutions of Payments (“PONIP”, www.ponip.pl).
Prudentiz is an associate member of the European Payments Consulting Association, an affiliation of European organizations specializing in professional consultancy on issues relating to payment services for providers of financial services (www.epca-group.com).
Gabriele Giuglietti is Head of international relations of Banca Etica; he is member of the Italian Scouting Movement and of the Italian Red Cross. Among the founders of Banca Etica he deals with microcredit institutions in Europe, Palestine, Africa and Latin America in order to increase financial inclusion. He keeps also the relationship with the Italian Parliament and with EU authorities in order to support the development of Ethical Finance.
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
A business magazine addressed to a group of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, owners of these companies and their managers. Its mission is to help them run the business, inform about the things that matter most to them, and inspire them to grow.
We are a group of people meeting to discuss peer-to-peer finance, cryptocurrencies, regulations, wealthtech, investech, robo-advisors, automated asset management, big data, credit scoring, machine learning, artificial intelligence, user experience, chatbots, regtech, insurtech, blockchain, payments, transfers and many other topics that fall into so-called fintech. Come to our meetings and discover what you can learn, who you can meet and what it can do for you.
Brings together the majority of online non-bank loans market in Poland.
Our members are companies that use and promote the highest business and ethical standards and are committed to changing the perception of the non-bank lending industry in the marketplace. The domain of companies associated in the Union is providing fast, short-term non-bank loans online.