European Green Microfinance; a Young but Promising Sector

16 January, 2014

EMN study: "European Green Microfinance, a first look"

A recent study carried out by the European Microfinance Network (EMN) shows that European green microfinance is a young but promising sector. Initiatives associated with environmental protection have been provided by approximately 25% of the institutions in Europe. The main challenges are lack of funding, inadequate human capital and low client interest. These can be mitigated by partnerships with specialized institutions and trainings for employees (EMN, 2013).

The study shares information about environmentally friendly initiatives developed by institutions that provide microfinance services in Europe and elaborates on their motivations, constraints and strategies.Based on literature review, web-research, online survey and one-on-one interviews the study discusses the potential of European green microfinance and possible policies including green jobs, microfinance and private-public partnerships.

Their environmental engagement is analysed along five dimensions:

  • environmental policy,
  • ecological footprint reduction,
  • environmental risk assessment,
  • green microcredit provision and;
  • environmental, non-financial services

These results were then compared, where possible, to activities in developing countries (EMN, 2013). For the full research paper go to the EMN website.

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