High Level Objectives of the Club:
To be a welcoming, open-access Club that provides a forum to exchange information, ideas and promote awareness of microfinance and inclusive finance in the fight against poverty and financial exclusion .
We seek to inspire our members to learn, exchange, network and act.
We do this principally by holding events for individuals interested in microfinance and financial inclusion to hear, debate and influence the best practices and emerging issues in the sector.
The Club was founded in 2005 as part of the UK’s involvement in the UN Year of Microcredit in 2006.
We are proud that our current membership (over 300 members) includes a broad range of individuals drawn from microfinance practitioners; academics; policy makers; investors and advisers.
Membership is open to anyone – on payment of an annual membership fee, currently £30 per person. The membership fee is a contribution towards the costs of operating the Club and is regularly reviewed in order to encourage maximum participation. To encourage students to join we provide a discounted student membership fee of £10 per year. We also provide for Corporate or group membership, details can be provided on request.
Directors of the Club, April 2014
The Club is registered as a Limited Company in England and Wales (Reg. 07476278). It is led by 9 Directors who are volunteers elected for 3 year terms, with a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. The Directors elect a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer of the Club from amongst themselves to oversee the functioning of the club. The Directors meet at least 3 times per year to review progress and plan activities. The Annual Accounts and Director’s elections are carried out in accordance with the Company’s Act. The Accounts and Memorandum and Articles of Association are available on request. The Directors engage a part-time Administrator to help organise and promote the Club activities and to support the membership.
The Club organises events whereby high calibre speakers share their experience in promoting microfinance and financial inclusion; and highlight key issues which are relevant to the sector. Speakers come from academia; financial services; practitioners; policy-makers and others with expertise in microfinance or closely associated sectors. Speakers are not paid for their participation. In providing events the Club acts as both an educational and a networking forum for those interested in or wanting to keep track of the current developments in the sector.
The Club is not a platform for promotion of a particular blend of microfinance, rather a place where opinions are shared and debates encouraged. Presentations are always followed by Question and Answer sessions. Panel discussions are a frequent method adopted. The Directors take care to balance topics and venues during the course of each year to avoid capture, over-emphasis or bias.
The events are usually hosted by companies or organisations that usually provide such support free of charge to the Club, for which the Directors are very grateful.
The Club seeks to build its profile and reputation by continuing to attract high-level speakers and enthusiastic participants as well as the Chair and Directors to speak on behalf of the Club and the Sector in response to latest news or developments.
The Club will continue to maintain an active website (www.mfclubuk.org ) to provide easy access for new and current members and to offer information about past and future Club events. The Club also has a Twitter feed; LinkedIn Group and Facebook page through which to attract new members, and to promote events, networking and dialogue.
The Club seeks to maintain its focus on providing high quality events and presentations that appeal and are relevant to its members. We aim to maintain a frequency of around 10 evening meetings per year. Previous speakers at the Club have included Prof Muhammad Yunus; Dr David Roodman; Hugh Allen; Stuart Rutherford, Sam Daley-Harris; Prof. Malcolm Harper; Sir Fazle Hasan Abed.
Speakers are provided with presentation guidelines and a Club Director usually chairs the meeting.
The outline themes for 2013 reflect the broader financial inclusion landscape:
The aim is to have 2-4 events around each of the themes, which were selected to provide a balanced overview of the financial inclusion space and related developments.
London provides a convenient place for most speakers, members and most venues. The Club will continue its London-base but consider holding occasional future events outside London if and when opportunities arise.
The Club welcomes and appreciates companies that can host events free of charge.
We also welcome corporate donations to support the activities of the Club.
The Directors take care that the Club maintains a neutral (independent) position in Microfinance and avoids conflicts of interest.
The Club has strong links with the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Microfinance (www.appg-microfinance.org) and has held joint events with the Group . We also have links with the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (www.csfi.org ) and Women Advancing Microfinance (www.WAM-international.org ), as well as with all the major microfinance NGOs in the UK, with DFID, the multi-lateral donors; and the UK Financial Services Sector. The Club also provide links to the Microfinance Club of New York (www.mfcny.org ) and Paris www.clubmicrofinanceparis.org amongst other international microfinance networks. See the Club Website for more information (www.mfclubuk.org ).
We look forward to welcoming you to the Club.
Chairman and Board of Directors
Microfinance Club UK