5th European Microfinance Award –

Can microfinance help build a more environmentally sustainable future?

Can microfinance go for triple?  For decades, microfinance has been focused on working with the poor and excluded, helping them with loans to support their businesses, savings to help save up for expenses, and insurance to help them weather life’s unexpected shocks. But can microfinance also go for the triple bottom line and help build a more environmentally sustainable future?

That is the theme of the fifth edition of the €100.000 European Microfinance Award for financial institutions based in the South.

As in other industries, microfinance institutions are increasingly being called upon to operate in more environmentally sustainable ways. Moreover, many low-income communities rely on natural resources, and environmental changes disproportionately affect the poor, especially in low income countries.

By supporting environmentally sustainable interventions for people who depend on vital natural resources, microfinance institutions can improve the livelihoods of their clients, help build more resilient communities, and contribute to a more sustainable environment.

The Award will highlight how microfinance institutions, besides being socially responsible and financially sustainable, can also pursue environmental sustainability. Do you know of a microfinance institution that has successfully encouraged sustainable farming among its clients, or promoted alternative rural activities, such as silviculture? Does it incorporate an environmental assessment in its financing activities? Does it focus on reducing its own environmental footprint?  Or do you know of financial institutions that have found other means to serve the poor and support the environment at the same time?  Then contact us!

The deadline to apply is June 15th 201, 5 PM CET. All the information on the Award as well as the application forms (in English, French and Spanish) can be found on the Award section of the European Microfinance Platform website.

The award will be presented on the 13th November 2014, during the European Microfinance Week 2014 in Luxembourg.  The European Microfinance Award is jointly organised by the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs – Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, the Luxembourg Ministry of Finance, the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) and the Inclusive Finance Network Luxembourg in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB).

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