Centre Européen de Recherche en Microfinance, ULB
The Centre for European Research in Microfinance (Centre Européen de Recherche en Microfinance, or CERMi) results from the pooling of researchers in microfinance from the Centre Emile Bernheim of the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (ULB) and from the Warocqué Research Centre of the Warocqué Business School (Université de Mons – UMONS). CERMi is currently composed of 9 PhD students, 34 associate researchers, and a scientific coordinator.
CERMi aims to participate actively in academic research by studying the management of microfinance institutions, based on an interdisciplinary approach, with a view to supporting the key stakeholders in the microfinance industry - NGOs, cooperatives, donors, investment funds and financial institutions -, developing suitable frameworks to critically examine existing microfinance practices, and understanding microfinance and its future challenges. Wishing to develop research projects in direct relation with field issues, CERMi works in tight collaboration with the field actors interested by this kind of partnership. Two types of actors collaborate with CERMi: NGOs and academic partners. CERMi also works in collaboration with universities in the South, through different research projects.
CERMi pursues its goals through international publications and the organisation of doctoral research programmes, workshops, seminars and conferences. CERMi is also committed to support the development of the European Master in Microfinance / European Microfinance Programme developed by the Académie Wallonie-Bruxelles and the Universities of Paris-Dauphine and Wageningen, in partnership with the NGOs PlaNet Finance, CERISE, SOS FAIM and ADA.
CERMi can be considered as a young, emerging and promising research team. Since its creation in 2007 by the Académie Wallonie-Bruxelles, the number of its permanent and associate researchers has been growing each year, and the number of its activities has reached a good level: 15-20 research seminars per year, an annual “CERMi-only” research day, several workshops jointly organised with other European universities, and a big international conference in 2009.