European Microfinance Week was closed by the newly elected e-MFP Chairwoman, Laura HEMRIKA of Credit Suisse. She reflected on the past week and on the hard work of all those involved and also commended the first ever e-MFP TED-style session. She hoped that everyone found their topic of interest within the different streams and thematic events, and encouraged the audience to provide their feedback.
Hemrika expressed her satisfaction with the attention given to housing during the conference, emphasising that this is only the beginning; new publications, blogs, events and potentially even a book on this topic are to be expected in the future from the e-MFP.
Hemrika congratulated Cooperativa Tosepantomin (Mexico) on winning the European Microfinance Award 2017 on Microfinance for Housing, and highlighted the outstanding programmes and work of the two other finalists: Mibanco (Peru) and The First MicroFinance Bank - Afghanistan. She reminded the audience that the topic of the 2018 Award will be on advancing financial inclusion through technology, an area offering a wealth of innovation and debate. The Award will highlight how MFIs can use technology innovations to expand outreach, broaden product offerings, improve the client experience, and increase operating efficiency, all guided by an unwavering focus on socially responsible finance.
Hemrika concluded the session with a special thanks to all the members, speakers, moderators and guests for sharing their expertise, commitment and time in preparation and attendance of the excellent sessions. She thanked the note takers, the staff of the Abbaye de Neumünster and Niessen and the interpreters for their much-appreciated work and support every year. She thanked the e-MFP team for their tireless work and the sponsors for their financial and non-financial support, and said she looked forward to welcoming everyone back for the next European Microfinance Week, 14th - 16th November 2018.