Laura HEMRIKA, on behalf of the e-MFP Board, closed the European Microfinance Week 2020 with a number of takeaways for the participants. She articulated that many of previous year’s topics still prevailed, such as impact data, digitalisation, women and savings.
Despite the new format, Hemrika found the virtual experience of EMW 2020 highly personal, engaging and insightful. She emphasised the unity and collaboration demonstrated by much of the industry, and that we are facing the current challenges together; that we have adapted and in some ways will come out stronger. She referred in that sense back to the powerful opening by Ela Bhatt about ‘People and Planet’.
Overall, discussions showed that the COVID-19 crisis has left the core of the sector intact, and liquidity has not impacted the industry to the extent that was feared, yet. However, we are not out of the woods. There is an even stronger need for collaboration among actors, and this emerged again in the discussions that took place during EMW.
Another critical factor that was addressed in the discussions is digitalisation, in particular in terms of inclusion, best practices and regulations – in the COVID-19 context and beyond.
Hemrika once more congratulated the winner of the European Microfinance Award 2020, and thanked all participants for their very active contributions, which led to the success of the event.
All those involved in EMW were warmly thanked for the great organisation of the virtual conference. Hemrika also highlighted that all sessions and presentations will remain available to registered participants on the conference portal. In conclusion, Hemrika said she looked forward to meeting again next year and reminded everyone that the theme of the 2021 European Microfinance Award will be Inclusive Finance and Health Care.