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Micro, SME & Housing banks in developing and transitioning countries are undergoing rapid change. Many institutions face increasing competition, tougher regulation or are branching out to embrace new market segments.

The Micro, SME & Housing Finance Summer Academy seeks to equip participants with profound technical know-how in one of four subjects areas (operational risk management, SME banking, rural, or housing finance), build leadership and negotiation skills, and develop a better understanding of current trends in developing communities.  

19th edition of the Summer Academy: July 9 - 13, 2018

Registration deadline extended to May 31, 2018

Target Group

This programme is aimed at managers of microfinance & housing finance institutions focusing on SME or agricultural clients, commercial banks active in microfinance, transformed MFIs, or microinvestment funds.

Our Programme is...

  • Individualised: Participants choose from a wide range of technical, soft-skill and trend electives.
  • Profound: Sufficient time is allotted to discussing complex technical subjects.
  • Interactive: The teaching methodology combines lectures, group work, case-studies, discussions, and presentations.
  • Relevant: Faculty have been hand-selected and have many years of experience in their respective fields to share.

The Programme

  1. Introduction: This module is open for the whole group and informs participants of the upcoming scheduled training events.
  2. Technical Electives: To gain a deeper insight in the most individually  relevant topic, participants can choose from one of four elective courses listed below.
  3. Soft Skill Electives: These electives are designed to help participants become leaders with impact. 
  4. Trends Electives: Some hot topics of the industry will be covered in our trend electives.
Technical Electives:

Option A: Advanced Credit Risk in MSME Finance

Finance specialists, credit managers, risk analysts, auditors,
systems developers and anyone else who never leaves the
house without their laptop will enjoy this expert level session
on credit risk. Joachim will take you on a hands-on tour of
Frankfurt School’s data-driven approach to credit risk: rating
models, statistical scoring, advanced arrears statistics and
modern portfolio analytics. This includes a practical session and
tools for developing stress test scenarios and effective portfolio
diversification strategies. Special emphasis will be given to the
data requirements and models necessary for implementing the
new 3-stage receivables impairment model under IFRS 9. IFRS
9 Impairments are the single biggest topic in credit modelling
for 2017 and 2018. Joachim will show you practical solutions
from early adopters among emerging market MSME lenders.

Option B: Trends in SME Banking

The SME banking electives are intended for professionals from
financial institutions interested in developing a strong SME
banking business. The focus will be on cash flow lending, credit
risk assessment, financial analysis, relationship management
and SME products and services. The importance of recent
trends will be discussed including Women in business, Supply
chain finance and significant changes in SME service delivery
requirements. A theoretical understanding will be delivered and
then deepened via the work on real case studies.

Option C: Rural Finance

This course focuses on the application of successful microfinance principles to rural and agricultural lending. It considers key similarities and differences between micro and rural/agricultural operations (especially concerning seasonality), risk considerations, client monitoring, and loan recovery.

It examines practical experiences of designing rural and agricultural credit products, delivering these products, and new approaches such as value chain financing and warehouse receipts programs.

Option D: Housing Finance

Offering housing finance in developing or emerging countries is a challenge. Affordability, fraud, legal problems, or a lack of long-term financing are persistent problems. In this course we will teach strategies and skills for implementing or enhancing housing finance operations both in your institution and other difficult environments. We cover the whole value chain of housing finance, from origination and underwriting to monitoring, recovery, and long-term funding. A strong, hands-on focus and examples from practitioners with a wealth of experienced in the field are a clear characteristic of this course. Housing Finances is offered in cooperation with HDFC India.

Other Electives:

Soft Skill Electives

These electives are designed to help participants become leaders with impact. Those who already assume leadership positions will learn how to realize results through effective leadership techniques. New leaders advancing to their first management positions will be acquainted with the tools they will need in their new roles. Choose one of the following:

  • Transformation & Change Management
  • How to Fulfill Expectations
  • Female Leadership
  • Customer Centric Leadership

Trends Electives

The trends electives focus on hot topics in the Micro, SME & Housing Finance community.

Choose one of the following:

  • Microinsurance
  • Social Performance Measurement
  • Managing Donor Relations
  • Mergers & Acquisition
  • Fintech

Field Trip

Each technical elective includes a site visit related to the topic
of the course.


Frankfurt School of Finance & Management is one of Europe’s largest business schools for banking and finance. Furthermore, we have gathered extensive experience in microfinance training and consultancy world-wide and know the ins and outs of mainstream banking as well as microfinance. Our Summer Academies therefore offer state-of-the-art banking and microfinance know-how, combined in one programme.

Practice orientation 

Our Summer Academies have a practical focus. All modules include technical tools which are easy to apply to real-life situations. Our faculty has extensive practical experience in the field of development and/or commercial microfinance, assuring that real life examples are discussed. Additionally, you will meet prominent practitioners from the field, sharing lessons learned and ideas from their organisations.

Participant-centred approach

We take participants’ experiences and needs seriously. Therefore, we carefully select the students to ensure a group of high-level practitioners, with a similar background regarding qualification, practical experience and interests.

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We also expect our participants to get actively involved. Various platforms are prepared for the exchange of experiences and knowledge, no matter if inside or outside of the classroom: group work, discussion rounds, presentations and an evening programme. Additionally, the limited group size will ensure easy access to trainers and experts.


Our participants leave the training not only with new technical knowledge, but also with a new world-wide network of other practitioners of the microfinance business. To support networking after the end of the training, we will invite all Summer Academy participants to join the Frankfurt School Friends & Alumni Portal through which you will be able to stay in touch with your fellow students, alumni of past and future Summer Academies, FS faculty and fellow team members.

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You can join and launch online communities on professional topics as well as personal interests and will be able to access training materials, exchange experiences and ideas and build or broaden your professional network.

Administrative Details

Tuition and accommodation expenses

The total fee for the Micro, SME & Housing Finance Summer is EUR 3,750. This fee includes the course fee, all training materials, and full-board accommodation in single rooms for the time of training.

The Summer Academies are fully tuition based and not sponsored. Accordingly, participants have to cover the full costs of the training or find a sponsor.

Handouts, documentation, and background literature will be assembled in a comprehensive participant handbook, which will also be provided via USB at the end of the training.

Other Information:


Please note that we can offer the following discounts:

  • 10% for each institution sending more than one participant* to a Summer Academy
  • 20% to each participant participating in more than one Summer Academy course*

* successfully enrolled

Applicants that are staff of member institutions of the International Union for Housing Finance and African Union for Housing Finance are entitled to a EUR 450 discount.


The Summer Academy will be held at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management new campus. The brand new facilities offer a broad variety of seminar rooms and a new learning experience. Accommodation in single rooms will be arranged at a high-class hotel. The participants can join the campus very easily using the very practical metro from Frankfurt.


The language of instruction will be English and no translation will be provided.

Mastercard Foundation

We are proud to announce the continued cooperation between The MasterCard Foundation and our Frankfurt School Micro, SME & Housing Finance Summer Academy.

For the 10th year in a row, The Master Card Foundation Microfinance Scholars Program will make it possible for organisations without their own sufficient resources to attend the Summer Academy by providing scholarships for tuition fees and travel costs.

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The MasterCard Foundation Microfinance Scholars Program will offer 31 partial scholarships to participants of the Micro, SME & Housing Finance Summer Academy.

One scholarship will cover 3,150 EUR of the total tuition fee of 3,750 EUR (including training, accommodation and full board). Additionally, travel support will be given individually depending on the travel distance to Frankfurt. The travel support will be provided to the scholarship holder by a transfer to their account after their participation at Summer Academy. For the remaining costs applicants will need to indicate the source of their financing in their application.

Please note, scholarship applications can only be submitted as part of the general registration process. For more details on the scholarship programme click here. Both your scholarship application and Summer Academy application need to be submitted before we can process your request for a scholarship.


Scholarship Application Closed!

All participants of the Micro, SME & Housing Finance Summer Academy are eligible for The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program. The target group for scholarships is managers and mid-managers of MFIs, or MFI umbrella organizations serving as multipliers of knowledge in their country. We explicitly encourage women and applicants from minority population to apply.

Please be aware that although an institution can apply for two or more MasterCard Scholarships, only in exceptional cases has more than one scholarship been awarded to the same institution.

About The MasterCard Foundation

The MasterCard Foundation believes that people have the potential to transform their lives and improve the lives of their families and communities. By increasing access to microfinance and youth education to people in developing countries, the foundation is helping many to realize their potential and lift themselves out of poverty.

An independent, private foundation based in Toronto, Canada, The MasterCard Foundation was established through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide at the time of the company’s initial public offering in 2006.

For more information, see

Event Organisers

The Summer Academies are an initiative of the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, a leading private business school and advisory institute in Germany. Frankfurt School has more than 50 years of experience in consulting and training services in all areas of banking & finance.

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Since starting its international advisory business in 1992, Frankfurt School has successfully managed and implemented development finance projects for a wide range of clients, primarily with the major international finance institutions, development finance institutions, and bilateral/multilateral donor organisations. Our International Advisory Services department is committed to improving financial markets and increasing access to finance for low-income populations in developing and transition countries and emerging markets.

Over the past 17 years the International Advisory Services has organised the annual Summer Academies. Our Summer Academies host a high-standard of microfinance practitioner trainings with an excellent reputation worldwide. We provide our participants with in-depth technical know-how and effective practical tools to manage change and lead their institutions through dynamic markets. Our goal is to provide a one-stop platform where you can obtain integrated training and gain new insights - both from our experienced faculty and from networking with other participants.


HDFC was established in 1977 as the first specialised mortgage company in India. HDFC’s primary objective is to meet a social need by promoting home ownership through the provision of long-term financing to households. To date, HDFC has successfully financed over 3 million housing units. Thus the housing finance elective course offers the unique combination of excellent academic knowledge with thriving practical experience. Visit their homepage.