Photo credit: Lene Hansen, Syrian refugee clients of Al Amelia Greenberg leads a Training of Trainers in Brussels, Belgium.
Majmoua displaying their handicrafts in Aley branch, Lebanon.
The SPTF, in partnership with the Livelihoods Unit of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is working to increase access to microfinance for refugees.
Read a case study on Al Majmoua, Lebanon: Serving Refugee Populations in Lebanon - Lessons Learned from a New Frontier
SPTF worked with independent consultant Lene Hansen to write guidelines for financial service providers on extending their services to refugees. This resource, called "Serving Refugee Populations: The Next Financial Inclusion Frontier," is available in English and Arabic. The guidelines present the sector's current understanding of best practices, and are divided into three main sections: 1) Refugees as a potential FSP market segment; 2) A framework for financial inclusion of refugees; and 3) Potential profitability drivers.
Training of Trainers
SPTF has developed materials for a two-day training on financial inclusion for refugee populations. Download the PowerPoint presentations for each module of the training here:
- TOT Session 1: Welcome
- TOT Session 2: What do we know
- TOT Session 3: Business case framework
- TOT Session 4: Preparatory steps
- TOT Session 5: Review
- TOT Session 6: Products and Delivery
- TOT Session 7: Profit drivers and case study
- TOT Session 8: Group presenters and UNHCR
- TOT Session 9: Wrap up
- Listen to a webinar on the guidelines and view a PPT presentation that review the contents of the guidelines.
- Read an article in Arabic: هل يشكل اللاجئون نوعية خطرة من عملاء التمويل الأصغر؟
- Listen to our introductory webinar: Refugees- The Next Frontier in Financial Inclusion? Also, review the notes and PowerPoint.
- Review the PowerPoint from our workshop in Morocco: A New Frontier for Financial Inclusion in English en français.
- Read the workshop notes in English.
SPTF Working Group on Microfinance for Refugees
Of the approximately 20 million refugees worldwide, only a small percentage have access to financial services. Many financial service providers (FSPs) are currently reluctant to work with refugee populations, for fear of financial loss. Others have had limited success due to limited market-led research to establish a clear business case for sustainable services to refugee clients.
In 2016, the SPTF is producing several knowledge products, in an effort to stimulate interest in and understanding of how to offer financial services to refugees. In addition to the case study and presentation linked above, the SPTF will produce Global Guidelines for FSPs Serving Refugees. These guidelines will aggregate into a single document the sector's current understanding of best practices for working with refugee populations, as well as lessons learned from past experience and suggestions for addressing common obstacles.
Additionally, the SPTF will produce training materials for technical assistance providers who can assist FSPs to sustainably provide financial services to refugee populations in their markets. The guidelines and training materials will be aimed at creating interest among FSPs in working with refugee populations, dispelling misconceptions about the characteristics of these populations, and encouraging the adaptation of delivery mechanisms and services that meet the specific needs of refugees.