The FINANCIAL -- Bank Constanta was a supporter of the 15th MFC (Microfinance Centre)
annual conference just held in Tbilisi , Georgia, for the first time.
The conference, entitled “Business or development? Time to choose”, was focused on an industry at a crossroads. The conference aimed at assembling representatives of the sector and sharing international experience with them. The conference put a focus on the sector’s development tendencies and practical works for the sector’s members and experts.
“The annual conferences are attended by representatives from most microfinance institutions in the region as well as donor organizations,” said Tamar Lebanidze, Chair of the Supervisory Board at Bank Constanta. “They are a unique learning and networking opportunity. They offer workshops and discussions exploring innovative regional best practices, the legal environment for microfinance institutions and industry standards,” she added.
“In fact this conference is a financial source for micro and small businesses, which are the backbone of the economy. It is at this conference every year that problems which are really acute and which need to be solved are discussed. This year’s conference was at last held in Georgia and so Georgians were able to be involved in it. From this they received more information about the micro financing sector. Georgians benefited from the experience of others which can help them solve their own business problems,” she added.
“Lots of investors who are investing in this sector were present and many transactions were settled at the conference. We hope that these transactions will give additional sources to the organizations operating in this sector. Bank Constanta already has very close relations with these investors and we hope that other players will also have the opportunity to attract them. Such conferences help us to make these relations closer,” Lebanidze added.
Bank Constanta is one of the members of MFC. The conference was attended by 450 experts from the micro financing sector, as well as investors and representatives from the private sector.
“We are very happy that we had an opportunity to come to Georgia, the first time for us in the Caucasus region,” said Grzegorz Galusek, Microfinance Centre (Poland). “We are all happy to see so many changes in Georgia and in the micro financing sector specifically. It seems that the people who need financial services are getting proper service and this is quiet a welcome change. Constanta is a good example of how a micro financing institution can be transformed in to a bank which is oriented on micro financing clients, supplying them with a proper product,” he added.
MFC is a grassroots network of 102 microfinance institutions from Europe and Central Asia. MFC offers programmes to develop the capacity of its member microfinance institutions, annual conferences, research and policy advice.
MFC plays a catalytic role in bridging the market gap between dramatic unmet demand for microfinance services and the sector’s current offering through supporting development of a wide range of financial institutions, promoting microfinance among policy makers, regulators, the formal banking sector and investors. The Center supports members in different country contexts - from EU member states, through fast-developing Caucasian states to the poorest countries in Central Asia.
The MFC mainly works on research programmes, financial education projects, capacity building programmes, a social performance start-up fund for networks and political programmes. Its mission is to contribute to poverty reduction and human potential development by promoting a socially oriented and sustainable microfinance sector that provides adequate financial and non-financial services to a large number of poor families and micro-entrepreneurs.
“That is why it is so important for Bank Constanta to cooperate with the Center. Our bank’s mission is to offer our customers a service which responds to their needs, to improve their standard of life and social background,” Tamar Lebanidze added.