Muktinath Bikas Bank Ltd. received the European Microfinance Award 2020. The award, endowed with 100,000 euros, aims to distinguish exemplary initiatives in the field of microcredit.
The leading National Development Bank in Nepal serves low-income households and women in rural areas through a department dedicated to this target population. It has designed a tailor-made model of collective and solidarity-based savings collected at home or at the workplace for this clientele. It offers banking products to poor households and low-income women. Muktinath Bikas Bank Ltd. has developed an adapted model of collective and solidarity-based savings, based on proximity, which encourages positive savings.
Contrary to previous editions, the award ceremony of this year's European Microfinance Award did not take place in front of a crows as usual, due to the current sanitary crisis. However, the good news is: the 2020 edition of the Award did take place. Even though it was exclusively broadcast online.
Three candidates in the running
In total, 70 candidatures from 37 countries were reviewed by the selection committee, who chose the three finalists which were distinguished today. The laurate was chosen from these candidates: Buusaa Gonofaa Microfinance, Muktinath Bikas Bank and RENACA-Bénin.
This year's edition's slogan is 'Encouraging Effective & Inclusive Savings'. Thereby it focuses on the essential role of savings for those in need in developing countries, as well as on the manner in which financial providers can encourage an efficient use of savings.
Since 2006, Luxembourg's Development Cooperation, the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) and the inclusive Finance Network Luxembourg (InFIN.lu) have been awarding 100,000 euros to the winner. The other two finalists each receive 10,000 euros.
The other two finalists
Buusaa Gonofaa Microfinance (BG) is an Ethiopian IMF which offers loans, savings and financing within the agricultural value chain to the poor segments of the population, especially women. BG was selected for 'Dejaf Iqub', a savings initiative based on a proximity relationship with the client, which offers a safe, easy and attractive means to save up, thanks to regular payments, at home or at the workplace, or small deposits associated to an objective.
RENACA-Bénin is a union of cooperatives which targets low-income and vulnerable populations, especially in rural areas. The savings initiative RENACA focuses on the collection of local savings, at home or at the workplace, via a large range of products (proximity tontine, term deposits and demand deposits), as well as on the promotion of savings via savings groups and self-directed or community loans.