On April 9, Philippe Guichandut, Head of Inclusive Finance Development at the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation, participated in the webinar organised by Convergences and FinDev Gateway. The objective of this webinar was to reflect on the profitability of microfinance. The topics discussed were as follows: Why invest in microfinance? Between financial profitability and social performance, what balance? How to develop an economic model to reconcile double profitability? Feedback on Advans International’s experience
Although profitability is an indispensable requirement, this notion is nevertheless complex to grasp in a sector like microfinance whose purpose is to have a social impact. Thus, should microfinance necessarily be profitable? If so, can it be done in a socially responsible way? Can it remain true to its aspirations and contribute, through financial inclusion, to lifting 1.7 billion people out of poverty without access to banking services around the world? Between reasonable interest rates and sufficient profitability, what balance for microfinance institutions? What resources to finance the development of the microfinance sector?
This is what the various invited speakers tried to answer. Alongside Philippe Guichandut, Gabriela Erice Garcia, Senior Microfinance Officer at the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) and Frédéric Mille, Investment Director at Advans International, participated to the debated.