> Posted by Jeffrey Riecke, Communications Associate, CFI

8439582304_65373d394f_zAs you’re here on the CFI Blog, you’re likely familiar with microfinance. But was this the case back when you were in school? It’s April, which means we’re amidst the Month of Microfinance (MoMF), a student-led movement spotlighting microfinance and bridging the gap between students and the sector. This year’s MoMF spans activities engaging students, MFIs, and key industry players, including Kiva, the SEEP Network, and Truelift, supporting access to quality financial services for all and engaging the next generation of microfinance professionals.

Microfinance is increasingly taught in schools, but not everyone has access to a course. The Month of Microfinance offers students a platform to learn about the industry and in turn easily spread the word through their networks. For students looking to organize activities on campus, the MoMF team provides the resources to screen a movie, set-up informative displays, organize fundraisers, and spearhead guest speaker events. A number of MoMF contests conducive to online media conversation are underway. Kiva U, Citi Microfinance, and AboutMicrofinance are hosting a student video competition and an essay competition prompting participants to explore the topics of poverty alleviation, profit management, technology innovation, and gender equality.

For microfinance institutions and other industry stakeholders looking to take part in the movement, there’s a separate video contest hosted by the SEEP Network. Additionally, MoMF is collecting and publishing “autobiographies of microfinance,” which share the experiences and insights of practitioners, clients, and students.

Truelift created a pro-poor quiz for practitioners, available through the MoMF website here, to assess their efforts in serving the poor. The interactive quiz offers constructive feedback on submitted responses, encompassing areas including outreach, data collection, and client monitoring.

Engaging students with microfinance is valuable exposure for both students and the industry.

To get involved with the Month of Microfinance, visit the website here. To take part in MoMF conversations on Twitter, use the hashtag #MoMF14.

Image credit: Jirka Matousek

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