Convinced that financial inclusion is an important tool for poverty alleviation, the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs - Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs launched the European Microfinance Award in 2005 to promote financial inclusion initiatives and highlight their innovating contribution in a particlar area, to the development of the sector.
The European Microfinance Award serves two parallel goals: rewarding excellence, and collecting and disseminating the most relevant practices for replication by others.
Since its launch in 2005, the European Microfinance Award covered many different topics such as:
- "Innovation for Outreach" in 2006,
- "Socially Responsible Microfinance" in 2008,
- "Value Chain Finance" in 2010,
- "Microfinance for Food Security" in 2012,
- "Microfinance and the Environment" in 2014,
- "Microfinance in Post-Disaster, Post-Conflict Areas and Fragiles States" in 2015,
- "Microfinance and Access to Education" in 2016,
- "Microfinance for Housing" in 2017,
- "Financial Inclusion through Technology" in 2018,
- “Strengthening Resilience to Climate Change” in 2019
The Award of € 100, 000 for the winner and € 10,000 for the runners-up are granted by the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs - Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs and is jointly organised by the Ministry, the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) and the Inclusive Finance Network Luxembourg (InFiNe.lu).