The European Microfinance Award was presented on 1 December 2017. The winner of the 2017 award is from Mexico: the Cooperative de Ahorro y Préstamo Tosepantomin, based in Hueytamalco, which is active in the south-east of the country. 37 microfinance institutions from 23 developing countries contended for this award, which this year focussed on 'Microfinance for housing'.
A housing cooperative
The cooperative helps marginalised rural Mexican communities with their residential housing building projects by offering savings and home loan products paired with technical support. The cooperative is also recognised for its promotion of eco-friendly building techniques. The €100,000 prize from the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs of Luxembourg's Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs was given at a ceremony held at the European Investment Bank, in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses the Grand Duchess and the Hereditary Grand Duke, and Romain Schneider, Minister for Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs.
An award to support development
The European Microfinance Award, launched in 2005, honours a microfinance institution based in a developing country which has implemented innovative solutions to support access to better quality residential housing for low-income, vulnerable groups that are excluded from the property market of the mainstream banking sector. The award addresses economic and social issues and their specific impact on low-income families and communities.
It is organised jointly by Luxembourg's Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) and the Inclusive Finance Network Luxembourg (InFiNe.lu).
(Source: Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs / Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action)