Microfinance Management Courses

The term "microfinance" refers to a financial service targeted at a group of low-income people, especially women. Microfinance amounts, while usually small, go to clients with little or no access to traditional financial services. Courses in this topic introduce students to microfinance institutions' role in the economy, the savings and credit management policies in rural areas and its role in poverty alleviation.

  1. Microfinance Management Graduate Certificate

    • An online program offered by Southern New Hampshire University, the Microfinance Management Graduate Certificate has accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. This 11-week course introduces students to concepts such as practical microfinance, performance evaluation and client assessment and financial analysis for management of microfinance institutions. Students earn a graduate certificate upon successful course completion or a certificate of participation.

    European Master in Microfinance

    • The European Master in Microfinance degree program launched in 2005, under the Paris Dauphine and Wageningen universities, Universite libre de Bruxelles and a non-governmental organization, or NGO, called PlaNet Finance. The course prepares microfinance professionals for the management and development of microfinance institutions worldwide and trains them to analyze and rationalize issues relating to the microfinance sector. This one-year program covers areas such as financial management, banking, contracting and microfinance products, public policy and rural development. For admission, the candidates must have a master's degree or its equivalent and be fluent in English. Successful program graduates often find employment with NGOs working in microfinance, international aid organizations and microfinance institution-rating agencies.

    Microfinance Management

    • The five-day Microfinance Management program offered by the India-based Institute of Rural Management covers operational and conceptual issues relating to microfinance interventions. Some of the issues discussed in the program include the role of microfinance, NGOs and federations; microfinance product and services designs; delinquency management; institutional form and governance system; and mobilization of resources. The course uses case discussions, interactive lectures and videos aimed at middle and senior-level managers working in NGOs and microfinance institutions.

    CGAP Funder Course

    • The five-day Consultative Group to Assist the Poor funder course focuses on the basics of effective microfinance investments and policies. CGAP, a coalition of more than 30 private and public funding agencies that endorse microfinance, boasts participants from more than 70 countries as of 2011. The Microfinance Management Institute offers this course in English, Spanish and French, introducing students to financial systems for the poor, funder investments in financial institutions, investments in pro-poor financial systems and transferring knowledge into agency action. The course requires no prior knowledge of finance or related areas, and ideal participants include socially responsible investors, international NGOs, private foundations and policymakers. The participants, upon successful completion of the course, earn a diploma certificate.

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