Shanghai, China, January 6, 2017 – Accion, with the support of the MetLife Foundation, and in partnership with the Chinese Association of Microfinance (CAM), announced today the launch of the second cohort of the International Microfinance Management and Leadership Program – the first holistic, systematic microfinance training and capacity building initiative in the Chinese market.
The International Microfinance Management and Leadership Program employs a long-term, hands-on approach that includes integrated forms of learning. Participants work to develop their leadership and management skills, as well as sound technical knowledge in microfinance operations and human capital management. Ultimately the program aims to create a stronger inclusive finance industry that can better extend financial services to hundreds of millions of underserved individuals in China.
The second cohort is composed of 49 mid- and high-level managers from 22 microfinance institutions (MFIs).
“The need to expand access to quality financial services across China is substantial,” said Hannes Manndorff, Accion’s Chief Regional Officer for East Asia and the Pacific. “Strengthening the skillsets of managers in the microfinance industry will contribute to more highly-skilled staff and teams, a stronger industry, and, ultimately, a more inclusive financial system.”
The program’s first cohort ran successfully from December 2015 to July 2016 and consisted of 31 mid- and high-level managers from 13 Chinese MFIs, including market leaders like CreditEase, CFPA Microfinance, Bangxin Credit Group, and Hanhua Credit Group. The program featured numerous in-person seminars, facilitator-led online webinars, self-paced e-learning courses, virtual office hours when trainers and participants communicated via the popular Chinese instant messaging app WeChat, and a field visit to Hanhua Credit Group.
Participants in the first cohort gave the program an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5. Yang Tao, Assistant General Manager at CFPA Microfinance stated, “the program’s courses really touch the pain point and needs of mid and senior managers in microfinance institutions. The content is very practical and relevant, and hence after every course, we always can apply the knowledge immediately into work.“ “The program is much beyond a training program. It is a platform for peer-to-peer cross-learning and knowledge exchange. We had deep sharing of experiences with a variety of institutions in eight months and realized the mutual development,” Said Yuan Fang, Operation Director at Hanhua Credit Group.
Combined, the first and second cohorts will impact more than 1 million MFI clients.
Accion is a global nonprofit dedicated to building a financially inclusive world with economic opportunity for all, by giving people the financial tools they need to improve their lives. We are building the next generation of top-tier microfinance institutions, and over more than 50 years have helped build 65 such institutions in 32 countries on four continents that today reach millions of clients. Our impact investing initiatives are pushing beyond microfinance to catalyze more than 30 innovative start-ups dedicated to improving the efficiency, reach, and scope of financial services for the poor. And our Center for Financial Inclusion is helping to build a stronger industry with high standards and broad engagement. Currently, our work spans nearly two dozen countries, including the U.S., where we are the nation’s largest nonprofit microfinance network. For further information, visit http://www.accion.org.
About MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2013, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $670 million in grants and $70 million in program-related investments to organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. Today, the Foundation is dedicated to advancing financial inclusion, committing $200 million over the next five years to help build a secure future for individuals and communities around the world. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit www.metlife.org.