Social projects

A sample application form for the Social Project Competition was posted on 1 August 2019 on the websites of its founders: the National Association of Microfinance Market Stakeholders (NAMMS), the Russian Microfinance Center (RMC), the "Microfinance and Development" Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO MiR), the "Unity" Self-Regulatory Organization of MFIs (SRO MFI "Unity"), and the Microfinance Alliance “Institutions for SME Development” ("Microfinance Alliance").

Applications are accepted from 1 August to 30 September 2019. The Social Projects Competition Guidelines provides guidance on how to apply.

Please find the Guidelines by following the link >>>.

You can download the application form here >>>.

The purpose of the competition is to identify, promote and disseminate best practices in microfinance aimed at improving people's quality of life, sustainable socioeconomic development of the regions, and raising awareness among the public, government, investors and mass media about the public benefit activities run successfully by microfinance organizations.

The competition will benefit from advice and expertise from the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia).

This year, nine nominations have been approved, including six nominations for the main awards, two nominations for encouragement awards, and one special nomination. Within each nomination, winners will be selected separately from commercial and non-commercial MFOs.

Project applications will be considered for the following main nominations:

  •  "Best charitable project by an MFO."
  •  “Best MFO project to improve microfinance clients' financial literacy.”
  •  “Best MFO project to improve financial inclusion.”
  •  “Best MFO project for SMEs.”
  •  “Best MFO project for disadvantaged individuals and vulnerable groups.”

A new main nomination has been added in 2019:

  •  “Best MFO project to protect financial consumer rights.”

Under this nomination, individual projects or series of measures will be considered which address issues arising between MFOs and consumers of their services. 
Please note that for a project to be accepted, it must propose a new and specific mechanism for microfinance consumer protection. 
For example, mere compliance with the Basic Standard for Consumer Protection (which is implied as part of a fair market operation) is not considered a “project” and cannot be submitted for this nomination. The same is true of any measures listed in the Basic Standard (i.e. its individual provisions). 

What can be submitted for this nomination?

  •  Design, validation and compliance with additional requirements for a financial service (i.e. in addition to, but not the same as, those already established by the Basic Standard, SRO's Internal Standards, Bank of Russia Guidelines/Regulations and other regulatory acts); 
  •  An original and innovative approach to monitoring service quality (which may involve external experts, public review, etc.); 
  •  New methods of disseminating information (in addition to, but not the same as, those already established by the Basic Standard, SRO's Internal Standards, Bank of Russia Guidelines/Regulations and other regulatory acts) on financial consumer rights, what steps consumers can take to protect their rights, and any other information contributing to better protection of financial consumer rights and legitimate interests. 
  •  Joint projects with law enforcement agencies; 

and other mechanisms for managing the relations between financial service providers and consumers so that the latter are better protected and benefit from enhanced quality of microfinance products.

The following nominations for encouragement awards have been included:

  •  “Best success story of an MFO client, an SME. Non-commercial MFOs” – success stories of legal entities;
  • “Best success story of an MFO client, an individual. Non-commercial MFOs” – success stories of solo entrepreneurs (natural persons).

And a special nomination:

  •  “Best joint financial literacy project between an MFI and a mass media outlet.”

Applications will be accepted from microfinance and microcredit companies included in the state register of microfinance organizations, in the list of microfinance organizations providing entrepreneurial finance, and in the register of SRO MFOs.

Videos from the First and Second All-Russian Social Project Competitions for MFOs are available at: …

The Social Projects Award Ceremony will be held as part of the XVIII National Conference on Microfinance and Financial Inclusion “Microfinance: Time for Adult Decisions” to take place in St. Petersburg on 27-29 November 2019.