Incofin Investment Management (Incofin) participated in the European Microfinance Week (EMW), which was held in Luxembourg on from 14 to 16 November. The EMW is one of the top events in the microfinance calendar. Regional Director for East Asia and Impact Manager Dina Pons spoke at two panel discussions giving insights on how to use the UN SDGs meaningful when developing impact strategies with equity investees. Dina also spoke on an event related to promoting responsible lending practices in Cambodia.
This year, more than 450 participants from 69 countries gathered in Luxembourg for this member-driven conference. EMW continues to grow as one of the most important annual events in the financial inclusion sector, bringing together all branches of the industry, to discuss trends, innovations, challenges and opportunities in inclusive finance in developing countries.
Dina spoke together with Cécile Lapenu from CERISE working group, and Alain Levy, BNP Paribas, on how to select business friendly, meaningful output and outcome indicators to measure an investment’s contribution to the SDGs.
As an asset manager with a social mission, Incofin believes that if you value something, you need to measure it so you can monitor, analyze and act on it. The approach of Incofin is to map the social goals of their funds and investees against the SDGs. This is different for every institution. Then the indicators that are developed by CERISE are used to map the SDG impact of each specific institution, using already existing data. Incofin does not force the SDGs in the impact conversation with investees, but uses them as a framework to guide their impact work. She warned for impact washing, it is easy to align any impact claim to an SDG, but it is important to have a methodology behind it.
Dina shared the first draft of the Impact dashboard of Crystal, one of the leading microfinance institutions in Georgia, and an equity investee of agRIF.
On 16 November, Dina Pons spoke on the topic of responsible lending and prevention of high risk refinancing in Cambodia. She was joined by Vanndarong Pen, Risk Manager at AMK Microfinance Institution, Daniel Rozas, independent consultant (Mimosa/e-MPF), Isabelle Barres, Managing Director of The Smart Campaign. The panel was moderated by Jessica Schicks, Investment Officer at BIO. Incofin, along with FMO, ADA, PROPARCO and BIO, spearheaded a self-regulatory initiative in 2016, to prevent over-indebtedness, promote a healthy microfinance sector, protect vulnerable clients and avert a crisis. Read more on this subject in this dedicated interview with Microcapital.