This workshop was organized within NAM CSSTC programme on the National Support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in NAM member countries. Availability of capital is an important requirement for the poor and micro entrepreneurs to succeed in their enterprises. The workshop focused on how to mobilize micro credit schemes.


The workshop was attended by 10  experts and 10 participants from  14 NAM member countries in Africa, Central and South Asia, Southeast Asia and Latin America (in Attachment 1). The workshop was divided  into 4 sessions:

  1. The Role of Microfinance in Poverty Eradication;

  2. Government Support to Micro Financing;

  3. The Role of Women in Micro Financing;

  4. The Philosophy and Technical Aspects of Micro Credit Services.


The papers presented are listed in Attachment 2.  In each session the participants come up with best recommendations on how to enhance micro finance practices and how to enhance sustainability in micro finance services.

To expose the workshop participants with real micro finance activities including best practices in this particular field, on the second day of the workshop, the experts and participants visited two micro-finance village units in Cipayung and Cisarua, West Java. These village units are among the best managed units in West Java. During this field visit the participants witnessed and observed the daily activities of a typical micro finance unit. Questions and comments directly addressed to the unit managers enriched the participants view on how to successfully manage a micro credit activity. At the end  of the field visit programme, the workshop participants also visited a micro credit customer who has benefited from that particular financing scheme in developing his decorative- resin business.

Some of the salient conclusions can be summarized as follows :

  1. Micro finance needs multi-dimensional and holistic approaches; including sociological and cultural approaches – using the financial approach alone is not enough.

  2. The main problem of micro financing schemes is mostly how to have access to the capital.

  3. The fundamental issue of commercialization of Micro Finance Institution (MFI) is how to extend the fund to the SMEs and the poor.

  4. In channeling fund to the poor and SMEs, institutions providing micro credit services could be government, banks (public and private), and NGOs.

  5. In smaller-scale loans, the fund to micro-credit beneficiaries  could be channeled through intermediary conduits such as NGOs.

  6. Lack of expertise in managing micro finance services  is considered a major problem.

  7. Some contributing factors to the failure of establishing a sustainable microfinance are the lack of understanding about the market, over emphasis on short-term goals, and mixing-up political goals with business objectives.

  8. Approach to holistic sustainability is to enhance sustainability of the programme participants as well as the sustainability of the micro finance organization itself.

  9. In many developing countries a community-based approach is commonly applied.

  10. A new approach of micro finance to deal with  widespread poverty and women’s empowerment is emerging in NAM member countries.

  11. There are some recommendations pointed out to enhance the sustainability of micro financing practices, i.e.:

  • To promote professionalism, it is recommended that NAM CSSTC takes the initiatives to increase cooperation in the fields of comparative studies, training programme in micro credit services and technical assistance

  • NAM member countries should promote transparency in micro credit services by setting up standard performance, establishing rating agencies and promoting internal control.

  • It is strongly suggested that the government and donors avoid granting subsidized loans to the economically active poor and micro enterprises. The subsidy should go to financing infrastructures, training and technical assistance.

The meeting also identified specific actions and recommendations that could be taken by NAM Government, NAM CSSTC and MFIs to promote and mobilize micro finance practices in NAM member countries and also to achieve sustainability in the programme. These are identified in Attachment 4.



Based on the recommendations made by the four groups discussing on 1) role of micro finance for poverty eradication; 2) government support to micro financing; 3) micro credit as a tool for empowering women; and  4) philosophy and technical aspects of micro credit services, there are several areas of concerns to be further formulated as follow-up actions by NAM CSSTC, i.e.:

1. Meeting

  1. National workshop of the stakeholders (by regions) on the “importance and performance of the micro finance projects”

  2. Consultative meeting with different international organization such as the World Bank, ADB, UNDP, UNICEF, FAO, etc. on “international support and attention for poverty eradication using micro finance

  3. Expert meetings to formulate data base on micro finance projects

  4. Technical meeting on “legislative environment to support micro finance”

2. Training

  1. Provision of training manuals/modules on micro finance

  2. Training on “micro finance” for NGOs/Self-help groups

  3. Training on “skills improvement related to micro/small business development” such as micro credit management training.

  4. Training on “participatory poverty assessment” for participants from Government Organizations (GOs), NGOs and Banks.

  5. Training workshop on “building the capacity of women as managers of business and households”

3. Field Assistance

  1. Operation of data base software on micro finance projects

  2. Pilot projects in setting-up micro credit services

  3. Promotion of relationship between government and private sector to support micro financing

  4. Uplift women self-confidence through mentoring

  5. Setting-up standard performance, ratings, and internal control of micro credit

4. Network Building

  1. Identification of focal points

  2. Compilation and dissemination of directory of women business achievement locally and international

  3. Advocacy in motivating NAM member countries to be more concerned with micro financing for the poor

  4. Cooperation to increase professionalism (capacity building) through comparative study on best practices

  5. Establishment of icon “micro finance” on NAM CSSTC website

  6. Building communication media among network members, such as: newsletter, professional contacts, etc.

5. Exchange Programme

  1. Exposure visit to learn best practices from NAM countries which are leading in micro finance practices.

  2. Sharing and adopting various marketing strategies, such as: loyal membership award, scholarship, etc.

  3. Showcasing potential strengths and talents of women