Responsible finance and financial inclusion have been the main drivers throughout my work over the last twelve years I chose to take the e-Campus Certified Expert in Microfinance course and got certified in March 2019.
My experience with microfinance
I first began my career in 2006 with the Pro Credit Group as a loan officer working with micro and small enterprises in Ukraine. Here is where I saw how important access to finance for MSME clients is as well as the positive impact that responsibly designed financial products can provide to business development. Since then, I knew where I wanted to focus my career efforts which inspired me to support other banks of the Group to develop micro and SME segments in other countries. Thus, in 2010, I was summoned to Africa with a mandate to improve credit risk operations in Ghana. In 2012, I relocated to Latin America to support the transition to larger and more formal client segments (upper small and medium enterprises), first to Bolivia, and later to Colombia, where I served as Head of Credit Risk Department. In 2017, I joined MSME development project in Vietnam as a Consultant for I.D. i.e. Inspiring Development. It was at that moment that I decided to join Frankfurt School e-learning programme for microfinance. Although, I already had a lot of experience working with MSMEs in different countries with the ProCredit Group, I believed it was important to expand my knowledge and views on the approach towards microfinance when providing consultancy services to other financial institutions.
Practical knowledge applicable worldwide
Even though, I decided to join the course, I hesitated if it was a right time for an additional compromise at that exact moment, since the project in Vietnam was demanding a lot of time. This project had tough deadlines to complete and I was not sure if I would be able to dedicate myself enough for studies. However, it turned out that the course helped me with better project implementation; it helped me to be more confident and to adapt ideas based on previous experience to a particular environment of the financial institution we were working with. Moreover, the knowledge provided in the course, case studies based on real situations, and practical examples gave me a lot of useful insights, which I could incorporate in practice right away. Therefore, I find Frankfurt school e-learning platform an ideal solution for people (even extremely busy ones) who want to upgrade their professional skills with additional studies. You can make your own schedule and study anytime and anywhere without interrupting your main work. The course is very practical and the time invested into it will be rewarded.
After working in microfinance and SME finance fields in different countries, I find the knowledge given in the course applicable everywhere in emerging markets for microfinance practitioners or those who are interested to become one. While completing the Certified Expert in Microfinance course, I decided it is definitely worth the effort to continue with a Certified Expert in SME finance course. Based on my experience, I can now recommend both of them.