European Microfinance Programme

Launched in 2005, the EMP (Master de spécialisation en microfinance) has been designed by microfinance experts to offer a unique blend of theory and practice. Since 2007, students graduating from the EMP obtain a full Master degree (Advanced Master in microfinance).

The purpose of the programme is to develop future professionals in microfinance who will contribute to the strengthening of microfinance institutions worldwide, in accordance with the highest international standards.

The EMP provides students with a professional, multi-disciplinary approach to the challenges the microfinance sector is facing today, through:

  • solid theoretical foundation, taught by professors from three European universities in Belgium (Université libre de Bruxelles; Université de Mons) and France (Université Paris Dauphine);
  • insights into the latest techniques used by international microfinance institutions, provided by practitioners from the NGO partners ADA, BRS, CERISE and SOS Faim;
  • opportunities to participate in seminars and conferences addressed to microfinance experts;
  • an opportunity of a two-to-fourth-month internship in a developing country to obtain the necessary knowledge of daily realities of micro-finance on the field.

With more than 68% of students coming from the South, 17 nationalities and experts from all parts of the world, the EMP is a particularly international Masters programme, which allows to create and keep new (professional) networks. 


The microfinance sector is developing at a rapid pace, creating a need for experienced professionals within microfinance and credit institutions, banks and development investment funds, both in Europe and abroad.

The European Microfinance Programme was launched in 2005, by three universities: Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Paris Dauphine and Wageningen and by PlaNet Finance, an NGO specialised in microfinance, in response to this growing demand for training in development activities, particularly in microfinance. In 2007, the Université de Mons, as well as the three NGOs ADA, CERISE and SOS Faim joined the EMP as partners. Now the EMP is organized by the Université Libre de Bruxelles and UMONS with the Université Paris-Dauphine (France), in partnership with 4 NGOs (ADA, CERISE, BRS and SOS Faim).

Main objectives pursued by the European Microfinance Programme:

  • to create a pool of highly qualified microfinance professionals who will ensure the future development of microfinance institutions worldwide;
  • to train future professionals from both the North and the South, through a multidisciplinary academic approach;
  • to analyse and rationalise the different perspectives on development issues in the microfinance sector.

Career prospects for graduates from the European Microfinance Programme:

  • NGOs working in Microfinance
  • International Aid Organisations
  • MFI Rating Agencies
  • Investment Funds
  • Research