13 October 2020

In the Covid-19 pandemic, encouraging savings activity is critical in providing resilience to vulnerable people. Savings allows, among other things, consumption smoothing in the face of income volatility, minimises the impact of financial and other shocks, encourages long term planning and offers opportunities for productive investment.

The European Microfinance Award 2020 (EMA 2020) will reward with a €100,000 prize the organization that better encourages effective and inclusive savings. Among 70 applications from 37 countries, three finalists were announced: Buusaa Gonofaa Microfinance, Muktinath Bikas Bank and RENACA, partner of Grameen Credit Agricole Foundation. These organisations offer savings products and services based on a genuine understanding of clients’ needs and behaviour, reach under-served populations, and ensure that the savings are accessible, affordable and useful.

RENACA is a union of cooperatives in Benin supported by the Foundation since 2013, which targets low income and vulnerable populations  in rural areas. RENACA offers a wide range of saving products (‘tontine’ doorstep models, term deposits and demand deposits) and promotes community savings and credit groups. Its savings offer is supported by a mobile application and the use of tablets, for secure and trustworthy client transactions. RENACA also provides financial education and other non-financial services.

After the announcement of the finalists, the Luxembourg Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Franz Fayot, said: “The extraordinary response to this year’s Award is strong evidence of the impressive reputation it has gained for rigour and quality as well as for the exposure benefits that those who do well in the process can reap. The diverse applications highlight not only how important responsible inclusive financial services are during crises, but also how especially savings can strengthen resilience of vulnerable communities”.

The winner will be chosen by a High Jury and announced on November 19th at an online ceremony during EMW 2020.

More information on e-MFP