Dreamlopments & M-FUND selected as 1 of 3 finalist for the European MicroFinance Award 2021
Updated: Nov 3
On the 22nd and 23rd September 2021, the Selection Committee for the European
Microfinance Award 2021 (EMA 2021) on “Inclusive Finance & Health Care” chose the three
finalists who will go on to compete for the €100,000 prize: CRECER IFD from Bolivia;
Dreamlopments Ltd. from Thailand; and Fonkoze from Haiti.
Access to quality health care underpins everything else: it allows education to play its role in
opening new opportunities; it allows people to earn, invest and employ others; it lets groups
and societies prosper. But paying for health care is the single biggest financial risk facing poor households in low- and middle-income countries. They struggle to access and afford even basic or day-to-day health care, and those who can receive it may nevertheless face the
financial burden of a health shock for years, taking on debt or selling income-generating
assets, leading to a negative feedback loop.
The financial inclusion sector can play an indispensable role in both helping households plan
day-to-day medical spending and ‘smoothing’ out health-related financial shocks. For this reason, the EMA 2021 is on the topic of “Inclusive Finance & Health Care” - highlighting
initiatives that facilitate access to quality and affordable health care for low-income
The EMA 2021 process began at the start of the year, with Round 1 receiving 43 applications
from 32 countries. 31 were invited to continue to the more comprehensive Round 2, and the
EMA evaluation team assessed these applications against rigorous and established criteria
before 19 applicants were forwarded to an expert Selection Committee, including members
of the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP), Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and
European Affairs and the Inclusive Finance Network Luxembourg (InFiNe.lu). This Selection
Committee met over two days and chose the semi-finalists, and then the three finalists for the Award: CRECER IFD (Crédito con Educación Rural Institución Financiera de Desarrollo) is a Bolivian
non-bank financial institution which offers savings and credit services to women in poor,
remote and vulnerable communities. Bolivia has one of the world’s highest cervical cancer
mortality rates, especially among young women, but screening and treatment access is very
low. CRECER’s CACU program empowers women and develops their capacity for autodiagnostic and preventive care, involving health campaigns, screening and tele-consultation services, alongside a health loan to finance health expenditures (even those incurred up to 90 days before the loan application, such as medical treatments, consultations, and high-risk surgeries, as well as the purchase of medical equipment and medication).
Dreamlopments Ltd is a non-profit social enterprise registered in Thailand which serves
migrant workers and border communities in Thailand and Myanmar. Thailand is a primary
country of destination for more than 3 million migrant workers who lack health protection and access to affordable healthcare. Dreamlopments’ M-FUND offers migrants and their partners low-cost, not-for-profit health microinsurance, via 28 linked health facilities. The M-FUND pays for the cost of care of members in these healthcare facilities, up to their M-FUND’s plan coverage. Various plans are available, including coverage for chronic, old age and pregnancy options.
Fonkoze is an MFI in Haiti, and its non-profit foundation provides additional support, including health screening and education to very poor clients in remote regions where child mortality is among the highest in the world, less than a quarter of households have adequate sanitation, and access to all kinds of health care is very low. Recognising the impact of health shocks on its sister organisation’s clients, in 2014 Fonkoze Foundation launched Boutik Santé, in which doctors and public health experts train nurses who in turn train microfinance clients and elect Community Health Entrepreneurs to conduct basic health screenings, deliver health education sessions, and procure health products.
The winner will be chosen from the three finalists by a High Jury and announced on 18
th November 2021 at a ceremony during EMW 2021. All ten semi-finalists will be profiled in the e-MFP Award publication launched during EMW, which will also summarise the ‘factors for success’ that underpin the different health care models which this year’s process has