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Macedonia hosted the 3rd Regional forum: Human resources in Microfinance

On May 13-14, 2018, the Alliance of Microfinance Organizations hosted the 3rd regional microfinance forum “Human resources in Microfinance-Current trends and challenges in the region”, following the first regional forum “Financial inclusion through Microfinance-Current condition, status and challenges” from 2016 and the second regional forum “Payment Services-The role of non-banking microfinance organizations” from 2017.

The forum, attended by HR managers and officers as well as CEO’s from 16 microfinance organizations:

  • Agro&Social Fund, UniFin Jehona and Fondi Besa from Albania,
  • Altermodus and Montekredit from Montenegro,
  • Agroinvest Fond from Serbia,
  • MFO Partner, MKO Mi-Bospo MKO Sunrise from Bosnia and Herzegovina,
  • MFI Start and FINCA from Kosovo and
  • KEPA Microstars from Greece,

was organized in cooperation with the national associations AMIK of Kosovo and AMFI of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as AMA of Albania and the hosts, Savings house Moznosti, Savings house FULM, Microcredit foundation Horizonti and the Macedonian Enterprise Development Foundation.

At the forum, we had the opportunity to discuss different topics:

  • The recruitment process, best practices and experiences in the region;
  • Emigration and Immigration as new circumstances;
  • Key challenges on the labor market and available solutions;
  • Managing staff retention (continuous education, incentives, loyalty programs)
  • competition of other financial organizations in the field of HR,
  • the public administration as an alternative employer,
  • Key challenges and opportunities;
  • The role of national associations in tackling ongoing challenges;
  • Policies and legislative challenges and potential solutions;
  • Identifying recommendations and joint initiatives to overcome these challenges.

At the round-up session, we drew conclusions and presented them to the participants, with the following key findings and recommendations:

  • The microfinance organizations from the region face similar difficulties and challenges however they do not share solutions and experiences, which strongly limits their access to best practices as an opportunity to design customized decisions;
  • The community of microfinance professionals employed in the organizations present at the regional forum includes over 1.800 team members of different levels, which creates a critical mass for joint initiatives and shared expenses, making them feasible and sustainable on the long term;
  • There is a strong need for the professionals from the region in the field of microfinance to get to know each other and establish direct communication as well as regular contacts to exchange experiences, opinions and applied solutions as form of assistance in overcoming the challenges they all face in their daily performance.

The summary was prepared by Alliance of Microfinance Organizations from Macedonia (MFO)