FOROMIC to address entrepreneurship, urban inclusion and climate change issues
MORE THAN 1,000 people from across the Americas – or even further away – will, later this month, gather in Montego Bay, St James, for the 19th annual FOROMIC conference, the region’s most important event focused on financial inclusion and how it drives economic development and innovation.
This is the first time Jamaica will host FOROMIC, and only the second time the conference will be taking place in the English-speaking Caribbean.
It is a unique opportunity for people working in financial services, business and entrepreneurship development, and impact investment to network, learn about key trends and challenges in the region, and explore opportunities to work with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
When the first FOROMIC took place in 1998, there were only about 200 microfinance institutions in the region, serving 1.5 million clients, and the sector was highly dependent on subsidies from non-governmental institutions. Today, the region boasts one of the world’s most diverse, stable, and inclusive financial systems, with more than 1,000 providers – most of them regulated and sustainable – and 20 million clients. This shift from microfinance to broad-based financial inclusion happened through a lot of hard work, openness to innovation, and catalytic partnerships.
With the groundwork laid and microfinance increasingly being seen as the means to achieving high-impact economic growth, FOROMIC will be aiming to answer several questions, including whether there are ways for talented micro and small entrepreneurs to get the financing they need to build their firms and create jobs.
Just as the microfinance sector is looking to sharpen its focus and reach new sectors and segments, so, too, is the IDB’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), FOROMIC ’s organiser.
For over two decades, the MIF has served as an “innovation lab” for the IDB, responding to emerging needs in Latin America and the Caribbean and partnering with local actors to pilot marketbased development solutions.
“This year has been a transformative