Singapore, 6 August: Today, the ICC Academy, the educational arm of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), has launched the Microfinance Associate Certificate (MAC) in partnership with Satin Creditcare Network (SCNL), one of the world’s leading microfinance providers. This specialized online programme is designed to provide a practical overview and leverage a deeper understanding of the processes required to achieve business-readiness for anyone joining the microfinance industry.
In developing economies, microfinance, also known as microcredit, is viewed as a critical tool in the fight against poverty and entering the financial mainstream. Microfinance provides financial services – such as deposits, loans, payment services, money transfers and insurance – to low-income households, entrepreneurs and nascent businesses, who would otherwise not have access to such services.
Commenting on the launch of the certificate programme, ICC Academy Managing Director Daniel Kok said, “Over the last four decades, microfinance has had a worldwide impact. According to an estimate published by World Bank, more than 16 million people are served by more than 7,000 microfinance institutions across the world. According to the Microfinance Barometer 2018, Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) have served an estimated 139 million low-income and unbanked clients from various parts of the world with loans totaling an estimated 114 billion dollars.”
“Despite this progress, a huge gap in the loan portfolio still exists, with only 20 percent of the world’s poor benefitting from these operations, as per International Finance Corporation (IFC). Therefore, it is crucial to train and get people in the front line of microfinance ready for the task. We are delighted to have partnered with leading industry players to design the Microfinance Associate Certificate (MAC) aimed at microfinance providers, financial institutions, aspiring students, SME finance and legal/regulation teams.”
Comprising five courses, this interactive programme provides an introduction to microfinance and an overview of the microfinance ecosystem. Students will learn the importance of technology and innovation as well as business analytics and predictive modelling, the role of preventive audit and risk-management in mitigating risks, and how to understand the key microfinance indicators and their impact. The programme also includes a 30-minute discussion with Ms Sangeet Growar, Director, Tomorrow’s Knowledge (the educational arm of SCNL), on the importance of microfinance. Ms Growar commented, “Microfinance loans have been giving access to credit to some of the world’s poorest communities and playing a critical role in contributing to economic growth through poverty alleviation. However, there is currently a shortage of trained personnel and the induction costs for companies are quite high. ICC Academy and SCNL developed the MAC in response to this need.”
Speaking at a pre-launch event of the certification programme held in Singapore, Mr H P Singh, Chairman and Managing Director of Satin Creditcare Network (SCNL) said, “Microfinance, as an industry, has a high social and economic impact. We are delighted to partner with the ICC Academy in creating this online programme that will help industry veterans and professionals, who drive the agenda of financial inclusion, unlock their potential in microfinance. Consisting of practical content, video lectures, industry best practices and assessment questions, the certificate will serve as a valuable resource to enhance knowledge in microfinance and help practitioners at all levels of decision making. In turn this will contribute towards the larger social fabric of the unbanked and the communities from the bottom of the pyramid.”
The curriculum will be delivered via the ICC Academy’s innovative digital platform, which can be used on multiple devices. The platform includes new features, such as an integrated and searchable course glossary, dynamic animated videos, a quiz review dashboard for assessment tracking, achievement badges, automatic bookmarking and pre-assessment games.
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