Summit on scalable business models for Islamic Microfinance

Microfinance Focus, February 1, 2012: A two day international summit on ‘Scalable business models for Islamic Microfinance’ kicked off in Istanbul on Tuesday. Themed ‘Prepare the framework, attract commercial funding & diversify product development’, the summit gathered Islamic microfinance experts and practitioners from across the globe.

The Summit focussed on the issues of creating a conceptual framework to understand Islamic Microfinance, ensuring access to finance for unbanked Muslims and the role of the Islamic Development Bank in advancing Islamic Microfinance.

While speaking to the opening session of the Summit, Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer, AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics said that Pakistan has been acknowledged as a leader of Islamic Microfinance Industry and more than 20 institutions are currently providing microfinance services in Pakistan.

He said that Islamic Microfinance is essential to achieve Millennium Development Goals( MDGs), proposed by United Nations for alleviating poverty and social uplifting. “If development of Islamic Microfinance starts right from today, these goals can easily be achieved till 2015”, he added.

Islamic Microfinance sector is facing difficulties due to apathy of donors and to fulfill this deficiency, Sukuk (Islamic Bonds) can be issued, he said.

Zubair further said that more financial products can be introduced by enhancing research in the field of Islamic microfinance and there are many opportunities for development in this field. AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics has established a specific Microfinance help desk so that trainings, research and technical consultation could be provided to Microfinance Institutions worldwide.

The second day of the conference gained momentum around the operational challenges and product development and concluded with a discussion on the future of Islamic Microfinance.

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