According to the World Bank, there are more than 500 million economically active poor individuals in the world operating microenterprises and small businesses, and most of them do not have access to financial services. One of the ways by which their demand for financial services has been met is through the provisions of microcredit. The microfinance industry has been very successful in helping the poor to obtain necessary financial resources for entrepreneurship purposes, as the support for such activities is perceived to reduce poverty and empower certain segments of the population. However, there are still a vast number of poor individuals who have not been able to benefit from this financial assistance, which clearly points out the need for the microfinance industry to grow and become more sustainable. It needs to generate greater support from the donors as well as to play a greater role in the financial sector.
The course is designed to help participants learn about sustainable microfinance in terms of principles and good practices as they are applied by worldwide institutions today. It provides a comprehensive overview of the microeconomic fundamentals and how microfinance activities are implemented, evaluated, and managed. It will also help individuals gain greater insight into microfinance practices.
At the end of the course, the participants should be able to:
- Understand the concept and principles of microfinance;
- Identify issues that hinder the success of microfinance in their country;
- Appraise the state of microfinance in their respective country;
- Explain to a group of would-be operators of microenterprises and small businesses the significant components of microfinance such as financial instruments and lending methodologies, performance evaluation and management, and preparing financial statements; and
- Recommend positive approaches that will facilitate the poor’s access to financial services.
The course consists of the following modules:
- Module 1: The World of Microfinance
- Module 2: Financial Analysis
- Module 3: Financial Instruments and Lending Methodologies in Microfinance
- Module 4: Measuring Performance and Future Growth of Microfinance
In order to ensure the best possible outreach, the course will be delivered through e-learning. Through a multiple-instructional setting, the goal is to achieve the learning objectives by means of learning technologies that match personal learning styles, and by the inclusion of non-linear learning, the course aims at the development of just-in-time skills of adult learners. At the same time, in order to allow participants the maximum flexibility of scheduling, the learning will be conducted in an asynchronous manner. Using a state-of-the-art training architecture, UNITAR will combine self-learning with assessments and online discussions. The pedagogy - adapted specifically for professionals in full-time work - will help train participants through various experiences: absorb (read); do (activity); interact (socialize); reflect (relate to one’s own reality).
The target audience are professionals who want to learn about sustainable microfinance as it is practiced today, as well as individuals who are involved in microfinance operations and want to see how their work fits into global microfinance initiatives. The course is also useful for experts in other fields who wish to understand the importance of microfinance as a development tool.
A certificate of completion will be issued by UNITAR to all participants who complete the course-related assignments and assessments successfully. Course schedule is subject to change. Course fee is non-refundable but transferrable to another course or participant and subject to change as per UNITAR's policy on pricing.
Recommended hardware and software requirements for taking our e-learning courses:
- Platform: Windows XP sp3, Vista sp2, Windows 7 sp1, MacOS X.
- Hardware: 2 GB of RAM and higher for Vista and Windows 7.
- Software: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint and Adobe Acrobat Reader (downloadable for free at adobe.com).
- Browser: Internet Explorer 8 or higher; Mozilla Firefox 8 or higher.
- Internet connection: 128kbps and higher.