Digital financial services offer enormous opportunities for catalyzing greater financial inclusion for underserved populations. With new technologies, such as mobile money, micro insurance products, and electronic money, the costs at which service providers can offer and consumers can access financial services have decreased exponentially. Increasingly low costs and innovative methods by which to achieve last mile delivery of basic financial services has made reaching the World Bank and IFC’s goal of Universal Financial Access by 2020 closer than before, and responsible finance is a cornerstone of that goal.
Today, the field of financial inclusion faces a contradiction that is true for many markets – many clients remain unbanked while several market pockets have become oversaturated and highly challenging. New approaches that adapt responsible finance and risk management practices must be implemented to keep pace with the evolving digital financial services sector in order to ensure that anticipated gains in financial access are not negated by unmitigated risks to both institutions and their customers.
IFC and the Boulder Institute of Microfinance have partnered this year to launch a 5-day program, “Back to Boulder: Strategic Response to Risk in Microfinance Markets.” The inaugural program will bring together leaders from within and outside of the microfinance community, as well as international experts in leadership and change management. The program is structured to be highly interactive and features 20 experts in financial inclusion. Sessions will further provide insights into the complex nature of change leadership and how to remain pertinent in times of exponential challenges generated by disruptive technologies and market forces.
Participants will receive practical tools, cases, and experiences in 3 key areas:
- Risk Governance: How to identify macro-level risks in competitive markets, appropriate strategic responses, and the constructive and proactive role boards play in protecting the resiliency of their institutions.
- Enhanced Competitiveness: Skills needed to enhance impact and competitiveness by attracting, keeping and deepening relationships with clients through a renewed value proposition and successful business models.
- Managing for Shareholder Value: Computer simulation of the activities of a mid-sized commercial bank.